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Book Pakistani woman for hiding facts to fight panchayat polls: District admin

Bano Begum was elected as a village panchayat member and later, she was made the officiating village Pradhan after the village head's death. Last week, she resigned from the post after the district administration began an inquiry into a complaint against her.

By: Express News Service | Lucknow | December 31, 2020 11:26:14 am
Pakistani woman in UP, Pakistani woman in India in panchayat elections, Etah panchayat polls, Bano Begum, Lucknow city news, Indian ExpressHowever, a local resident of the village recently made a complaint to the district administration, saying Bano was not an Indian national and procedures were not followed while selecting her for the post of acting village head. (File Photo)

The Etah district administration has issued direction to get an FIR lodged against a 65-year-old Pakistani woman, who has been living in the country for nearly 40 years on a long-term visa, for allegedly hiding facts while contesting the 2015 panchayat elections.

Bano Begum was elected as a village panchayat member and later, she was made the officiating village Pradhan after the village head’s death. Last week, she resigned from the post after the district administration began an inquiry into a complaint against her.

“In the inquiry, we found Bano was staying on a long-term visa in India and had hidden facts while filing nomination papers for panchayat elections. A direction has been issued to get an FIR lodged against her,” said Keshav Kumar, Additional District Magistrate, Etah.

However, Circle Officer, Jalesar, Ram Niwas Singh said no FIR has been lodged in the connection yet.

According to Kumar, a departmental inquiry has been ordered against the village secretary on whose recommendation Bano was made the acting Pradhan.

Police will also investigate how Bano got Aadhar and voter cards in her name as these documents are needed to file nomination papers.

According to the district administration, Bano came to India in 1980s and got married to one Akhtar Ali, a resident of Gudahu village. A native of Karachi, Bano never returned to Pakistan after her marriage. She stayed back in India on a long-term visa, which was regularly extended, as she did not get Indian nationality.

In 2015, Bano contested for the post of a gram panchayat member and won.

In January, Pradhan of Gudahu village Shahnawaz Begum died, said District Panchayat Raj Officer, Etah, Alok Priyadarshi.

Following her death, on village secretary Dhyan Pal Singh’s recommendation, Bano was made the acting pradhan of Gudahu village.

However, a local resident of the village recently made a complaint to the district administration, saying Bano was not an Indian national and procedures were not followed while selecting her for the post of acting village head.

An inquiry was conducted against her and it was found that proper procedure was followed in declaring Bano the acting Pradhan, said Priyadarshi.

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