Hyderabad: In what could further add to the fears over National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Citizens (NRC), at least three residents of the city have received a notice from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to prove their citizenship.
Three persons, all Muslims and residents of the old city of Hyderabad, have been asked to appear before the inquiry officer on February 20 along with necessary documents in original to prove their citizenship.
Auto-rickshaw driver Mohammed Sattar Khan is among those issued notices by the UIDAI. As they have been asked to appear at a function hall, it triggered speculations that a significant number of people may have received the notices.
Khan received a letter from UIDAI's regional office here, stating that it received a complaint/allegation that "you are not an Indian national and you have obtained Aadhaar through false pretences, making false claims and submitting false documents. An enquiry has been ordered by the regional office, UIDAI, Hyderabad to ascertain the veracity of the complaint/allegation".
He has been directed to appear before Amita Bindroo, deputy director/inquiry officer, with all necessary documents in original to prove "all your claims of citizenship and if you are not an Indian national, to prove that you have entered the territory of India legally and your stay is valid".
According to the notice, failure to appear in person and produce the documents in original will be construed that he had no defence against the complaint and the matter would be decided suo moto. "Accordingly Aadhaar number will be deactivated in terms of Rule 29 of the Aadhaar (enrollment and update) Regulations 2016."
The notice shocked Khan, a resident of Talab Katta area in the city. The middle-aged man's father was an employee of the public sector Allwyn company and following his demise, his mother has been drawing the pension.
Sattar Khan's lawyer Muzafferullah Khan Shafat told IANS that UIDAI has no power to question the nationality of any person.
"If any person is in possession of Aadhaar card without providing sufficient information or by any other way, they are having powers under Rules 29 and 30 to deactivate his Aadhaar number but they can't question nationality of any person. Even at the time of making the Aadhaar card, there is no procedure to establish my identity. Only thing is that I have to give my date of birth and even place of birth is not required. Taking this into consideration these people have no authority to asking any person to prove his nationality," he said.
He said notices were issued persons who are not educated. "They don't even know to read and write their names. They are daily wage workers. Whatever work they get they will do. They are the only breadwinners for their families," he said.
"I am surprised how this department and that too a Central government rank officer has issued such type of notice. We are unable to understand the hidden agenda of the government," he said.
Shafath said that his client will appear before the inquiry officer with all the documents. "We will see what orders they pass and what will be their repercussion before deciding our legal course of action. We can't sit idle and take it for granted," the lawyer said.
The development came amid continuing protests over Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), NPR and NRC across India.
Some residents in Hyderabad have even displayed "caution" to NPR enumerators asking them to knock the doors only if they have removed new questions from the format. (IANS)
Also Read: YSRCP Opposes NPR, NRC