UP: Probe into Pakistani woman working as village head

Lucknow: An inquiry has been ordered after a 65-year-old Pakistani woman was found running the affairs of a village panchayat as its interim head in Etah district.

Investigations were afoot to find out how she got the Aadhaar, voter ID and other documents while staying on a long-term visa.

An FIR has also been lodged against her.

Bano Begum came to India 35 years ago

According to reports, Bano Begum, a resident of Karachi, Pakistan came to India 35 years ago at her relative’s home in Etah. Later, she got married to an Indian, Akhtar Ali.

Since then, she had been staying in Etah on a long-term visa, and had applied for Indian citizenship on several occasions.

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During 2015 local body elections, Bano managed to get elected as a member of Guadau gram panchayat. Five years later, on January 9 last year, the pradhan, Shehnaz Begum, passed away and after a few days, Bano took over as interim pradhan on the recommendation of the village committee.

According to sources, the matter came to the fore after a villager, Quwaidan Khan, filed a complaint saying that Bano is a Pakistani national.

Bano resigned from the post

Though Bano resigned from the post, the District Panchayat Raj Officer (DPRO) Alok Priyadarshi raised the matter with Etah District Magistrate Sukhlal Bharti, who ordered an FIR and a probe.

Alok Priyadarshi said, “Investigation on the basis of a complaint received against Bano Begum found that she is a Pakistan national. She got an Aadhaar card and voter ID made on her name by fraudulent means.”

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He said that the recommendation to appoint Bano as head of the village committee and designating her as interim Pradhan was made by village secretary Dhyanpal Singh. He has been removed from the post.

District Magistrate Bharti said, “Orders have been issued to investigate how she managed to get an Aadhaar card and other documents for contesting election to become gram panchayat member. Strict action will be taken against those found guilty of helping her.”

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