UIDAI notices in Hyderabad to prove citizenship lead to protest

UIDAI notices in Hyderabad to prove citizenship lead to protest

Naveen S Garewal

Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, February 19

The Aadhaar Authorities in Hyderabad have issued a notice to a resident to prove his citizenship, suggesting that his Aadhaar card was fake.

Mohammad Sattar, who lives in Bhavani Nagar area of the Talab Katta, has been asked to appear before the ‘inquiry officer’ -- a deputy director of UIDAI -- on February 20 at 11 am.

The notice served under Rule 30 of Aadhaar (enrolment and update) has asked Sattar to appear before the inquiry officer with “all the necessary documents in original to prove all your claims of citizenship”. The notice also says in case Sattar is not a citizen of India then he should come up with the proof of his valid entry and stay permission.

After the notice went viral on social media, it attracted sharp reactions from people who are already protesting the Citizen Amendment Act (CAA). Hyderabad local MP and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi has called it as the beginning of the unveiling of the numerous denials by the government about CAA being anti-Muslim.

Owaisi said, “Section 9 of the Aadhaar Act says it isn’t proof of citizenship. What legal authority does UIDAI have to demand proof of citizenship? The notices don’t even mention the grounds on which they were issued. This is illegal and unacceptable.”

Hyderabad is witnessing numerous protests every day since Parliament passed CAA. Local shopkeepers at Chatta Bazaar in Mirchowk have adopted a novel way to protest against CAA, National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR) by voluntarily turning off lights at their respective shops and halting business for 15 minutes every day.

Sattar’s lawyer Muzzafar Ali Khan while questioning the notice by UIDAI has said he will approach the high court over the issue as the government has repeatedly said: “Aadhaar is not a proof of citizenship.” He said two other people had also got similar notices.

Meanwhile, the local office of UIDAI has said it has sent notices to 127 people for allegedly obtaining Aadhaar numbers on “false pretences” but asserted these have “nothing to do with citizenship”.

In a statement, UIDAI has said, “It may be noted that the RO Hyderabad received reports from the state police that 127 people had obtained Aadhaar on false pretences as in their preliminary enquiry they were found illegal immigrants who were not qualified to obtain an Aadhaar number. As per the Aadhaar Act, such Aadhaar numbers are liable to be cancelled. Therefore, the RO Hyderabad has sent notices to them to appear in person and to substantiate their claims for getting an Aadhaar number.”

“After their replies are received and examined, if it is found and proved that any of them has obtained Aadhaar by submitting false documents or through false pretences, then their Aadhaar is liable to be cancelled or suspended depending on the severity of the transgression,” it added.

“Severe errors like forged documents, etc, will lead to appropriate actions, including suspending/cancelling the Aadhaar. These notices have nothing to do with citizenship and cancellation of Aadhaar number is in no way related to the nationality of any resident,” the statement adds.

 

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