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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 16 April 2024

8 in north get Aadhaar-invalid letters: TMC flags ‘conspiracy’, BJP avers ‘tech glitch’ and ‘no cause for worry’

Mamata slammed the Centre for trying to infringe upon the rights of people and has even said that if required, her government will issue an alternative card to them

Soumya De Sarkar, Main Uddin Chisti Malda, Cooch Behar Published 22.02.24, 05:31 AM
Representational image

Representational image File image

At least eight residents in Malda and Cooch Behar districts are puzzled over the letters they have received from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) recently that say their Aadhaar numbers were deactivated.

All the recipients are from the Scheduled Caste communities. They fear their Indian citizenship might be at stake and that they would be deprived of benefits extended by state and central governments.

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In Malda, three members of a family, including a minor, who live in the Bakshinagar-Khottapara area under Aiho panchayat in Habibpur block of Malda, received the letter on Tuesday.

“It said that their Aadhaar numbers are no longer active. The family is helpless and apprehends that they won’t be able to collect foodgrain from ration shops and be bereft of benefits like Lakshmir Bhandar. They are worried as to whether they can draw money from the bank,” said Amrit Haldar, a youth Trinamul leader of the block who is a neighbour of the family that didn’t want to be named.

Haldar brought the issue to the attention of party leaders and the block administration.

Over the past few days, Trinamul leaders, including chief minister Mamata Banerjee, have been vocal over the letters of deactivation of Aadhaar of people in different parts of the state.

Mamata slammed the Centre for trying to infringe upon the rights of people and has even said that if required, her government will issue an alternative card to them.

However, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, leaders of the saffron camp are trying to control the damage by terming the Aadhaar deactivation as a “technical glitch”.

Trinamul youth leader Halder said that at the block office, officials noted down particulars of the family.

“They have ration cards, voter photo identity cards and other documents. The officials are also wondering why their Aadhaar cards were deactivated,” said Haldar.

Similarly, letters have reached some people in Cooch Behar district. Sujit Barman, a resident of Dinhata-II block who stays in Mumbai with his family, told this newspaper over the phone that the letter stated the Aadhaar number of his seven-year-old son had been deactivated.

“I have no inkling why this happened and what to do next,” Sujit said.

Four other residents from Dinhata subdivision have received such letters recently. All of them are from the Rajbanshi community.

“We have been running from pillar to post to get the Aadhaar number of my mother (50-year-old Dudhu Barman) activated. A few days back, she received a letter from the UIDAI that mentioned her Aadhaar card was deactivated. We don’t know why it was done,” said Apan Barman, a resident of Dinhata.

Trinamul leaders in Cooch Behar such as Partha Pratim Roy, the party’s spokesperson in the district, have accused the BJP-led entre of trying to rob peoples’ citizenship.

“It is nothing but a conspiracy by the BJP government to snatch the citizenship of the Namashudras, the Rajbanshis and the people of various backward classes. Such strategies will not work,” said Roy.

The BJP leadership in the districts tried to convince people there was nothing to worry. “We are aware of it (the letters) and our state party leaders have already taken up the matter with central ministers,” said Ujjwal Dutta, the BJP president of Malda north (organisational) district.

“We are sure that a solution will be found shortly. We will communicate with all such people (whose Aadhaar cards have been deactivated) and assure them that they should not worry,” Dutta said.

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