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FACT CHECK: Did UIDAI ask 127 people in Hyderabad to prove their citizenship?

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Summary

The claims made by media reports that  UIDAI had sent notices to 127 people to ‘prove their citizenship’ after it had found that they had obtained Aadhaar card illegally is true. However, UIDAI emphasized that the action was taken after the State Police reports that some have obtained Aadhaar on false pretenses. 

Recently, a claim went viral on mainstream media and social media that the Hyderabad Regional Office of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) had sent notices to 127 people to ‘prove their citizenship’ after it had found that they had obtained Aadhaar card illegally.

Several media houses including Deccan Chronicles, New Indian Express, and IndiaToday have published stories claiming the same. According to the reports, the UIDAI had served notices to some people to appear before an inquiry officer as the office has received complaints/allegations against them that they are not citizens of India and have obtained the Aadhaar card through ‘false pretenses’. They have been asked to appear before an inquiry officer on February 20 at a function hall in Balapur.

One of the excerpts of a report published by The Scroll  titled, " UIDAI orders three Muslim Aadhaar-holders in Hyderabad to prove their Indian citizenship", reads as, "At least three residents of Hyderabad city – all of them Muslim – have been served notices by the Unique Identification Authority of India, directing them to prove that they are Indian citizens and have not obtained Aadhaar numbers through fraudulent means."

The truth behind the claim

According to one of the notices sent to a Mohammed Sattar, a resident of Talab Katta in the Old City area, dated February 3, stated that the recipient allegedly 'obtained Aadhar through false pretenses' and that he was not an 'Indian national'. The document signed by Amita Bindroo, deputy director of UIDAI Hyderabad, further states that if Sattar does not appear and produce the required documents "the matter shall be decided suo motu". 

However, following the outrage, the UIDAI in a series of tweets emphasized that these notices have "nothing to do with citizenship and cancellation of Aadhaar number is in no way related to the nationality of any resident".

"It may be noted that the regional office Hyderabad received reports from the state police that 127 people have obtained Aadhaar on false pretenses, as in their preliminary enquiry they were found illegal immigrants who were not qualified to obtain an Aadhaar number," said UIDAI. They further clarified that the notice has not been sent to people to check claims of citizenship as Aadhaar is not a document to prove citizenship.

In one of its tweets, the UIDAI said, “It may be noted that the RO Hyderabad received reports from the State Police that 127 people have obtained Aadhaar on false pretenses as in their preliminary inquiry they were found illegal immigrants who were not qualified to obtain an Aadhaar number," and as per the Aadhaar Act, such Aadhaar numbers are liable to be canceled, it further informed. 

In a series of tweets, it was further informed that these notices have nothing to do with citizenship and to the nationality of any resident, If after examination it is found any of them obtained Aadhaar by submitting false documents, their Aadhaar is liable to be canceled.

In conclusion, the claims made by media reports that  UIDAI had sent notices to 127 people to ‘prove their citizenship’ after it had found that they had obtained Aadhaar card illegally is true. However, UIDAI emphasized that the action was taken after the State Police reports that some have obtained Aadhaar on false pretenses. 

Note: The article was updated to include the letter.

Note: You can reach out to us at facthunt.in[at]gmail dot com if you find any issue with our articles.

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