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Activists accuse police of doing “illegal cordon and search” after fraudulently obtained Aadhaar cards recovered in Telangana

Activists are asking how people got to know about people who got Aadhaar fradulently, and accused that police was using illegal "cordon and search" operations

The Telangana police have come under the scanner of privacy activists for its “cordon and search operations” after allegedly recovering 127 Aadhar cards that were obtained “fraudulently.” As such, it prompted the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to issue notices to such people to appear before an inquiry officer.

A security researcher, Srinivas Kodali, in Hyderabad said, “There are so many people in the city. How do the police get to know who has procured it illegally or not? They did it by doing cordon and search.” He further alleged such a police tactic was a mode of “surveillance”. Another activist by the name of SQ Masood also claimed that the police were stopping late night restaurant-goers and asking them to procure their Aadhar cards.

AIMIM chief Assaduddin Owaisi took to Twitter on Wednesday and claimed that the cops are not legally permitted to carry “search and cordon” operations. He alleged that the notice issued to the owners of “fraudulent” Aadhar cards require them to “verify their citizenship” and not “validity of Aadhar.”

Several left-leaning media houses too cast aspersions about Aadhar and how it was being used to strip Indian Muslims of their citizenship. The lies that were peddled via social media were short-lived as the UIDAI’s official Twitter handle put out a clarification.

UIDAI highlighted that Aadhar is not proof of “citizenship.” The nodal body, while dismissing the claims made in the media, stated that Aadhaar is meant to ascertain the residence of a person in India for 182 days prior to applying for the ID card. The regional office of Hyderabad had sent notices to them to appear in person and to substantiate their claims for getting an Aadhaar number.

UIDAI said that all Aadhar cards obtained through “false pretence” is liable to be cancelled under the Aadhar Act. The authority also cautioned that forged documents, etc., will lead to appropriate actions, including suspending /cancelling the Aadhaar. UIDAI also clarified that “cancellation of Aadhar” is a routine quality improvement process that the UIDAI takes up regularly.

Read- UIDAI refutes media reports, says notice issued to 127 alleged illegal immigrants and has nothing to do with proof of citizenship

This is not the first time that forged Aadhar cards had been recovered by law enforcement authorities. Last year, a Rohingya Muslim man named Mohammed Faisal was arrested at Indira Gandhi International airport for travelling with a fake Indian passport and Aadhaar card procured through his contacts in Hyderabad. He had come to India from Bangladesh, six months prior to his arrest through land route and traveled to Mewat via Agra.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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