New Delhi: In yet another proof of mismanagement of the Uttar Pradesh administration, a 65-year-old woman who has been presiding as an interim head of a village panchayat since last year was found out to be a Pakistani national, who had been living in the village for over three decades now.Also Read - Oh My God! Check Out These 5 Most Bizarre Places Of Worship In India
The shocking news came to light from Uttar Pradesh’s Etah village after authorities found out that she did not have an Indian citizenship. Soon after, the woman, Bano Begum, resigned as interim panchayat chief. An investigation has been launched regarding a complaint against her by a villager, District Panchayati Raj Officer (DPRO) Alok Priyadarshi said. Also Read - One Dead, Several Injured In A Cylinder Blast In UP's Meerut
The woman also managed to get Ration and Aadhaar cards by providing false information, however, her long-term visa was found to be valid, said officials. She had been elected the interim head of Gudau village in Jalesar tehsil of Etah in January 2020 following the death of incumbent Shahnaz Begum. Also Read - 14-Year-Old Teenager Mauled To Death By Tigress In UP's Lakhimpur Kheri
“There were complaints that Bano Begum was living illegally. She had managed to get a ration card, voter ID and an Aadhaar card. She got elected as a member of the village panchayat (in 2015), and in January 2020, she was elected as the interim village head.
“The complaints were probed by SDM Jalesar SP Gupta and DPRO Alok Priyadarshi, and were found to be true,” District Magistrate of Etah Sukhlal Bharti said.
The DM said that Bano Begum had married Ashrat Ali almost 35 years ago but had not taken Indian citizenship.
She got her name registered illegally in the voter list in 1995, and then also got a ration card made in her name, officials said.
After getting an Aadhaar card, she got elected as a member of the village panchayat in 2015.
“On the complaints of Kuvaida Khan of the same village, it came to light that Bano Begum is living in the village under a long-term visa. She is not a citizen of India, and without being a citizen of India, one cannot contest any election,” Priyadarshi said.
He said the panchayat secretary who was appointed on the recommendation of the interim village pradhan has also been removed.
Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Jalesar SP Verma said that Bano Begum was the interim village head for six months.
“The documents used in making the ration card and voter ID card are being examined. Her name has been removed from the voter list of the village panchayat. Her name is not on the voter list for Assembly and Lok Sabha polls,” the SDM said.
Verma also said that so far no case has been registered, and officials of the police and district administration are investigating all possible angles in the matter.
(With Agency Inputs)