Uttarakhand to resume verification drive of outsiders after elections: Pushkar Dhami - Hindustan Times
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Uttarakhand to resume verification drive of outsiders after elections: Pushkar Dhami

May 21, 2024 05:34 PM IST

Uttarakhand’s verification drive was first started on Pushkar Singh Dhami’s orders in 2022 following a letter by the head of Shankaracharya Parishad

DEHRADUN: The Uttarakhand Police will resume the verification drive to confirm the identity of people coming from other states and living in the state after the conclusion of the Lok Sabha elections, chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said.

Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami during election campaign for the Lok Sabha polls in Lucknow (PTI)
Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami during election campaign for the Lok Sabha polls in Lucknow (PTI)

“It’s not a new thing, but an old one. We carried out the verification drive earlier as well. We will once again run it with strictness because the ‘mool swaroop’ (original features) of Uttarakhand shouldn’t be spoiled at any cost. For the same reason, we brought anti-conversion law, property damage law....ran anti-encroachment drive. This will go on,” Dhami told reporters in Dehradun on Monday.

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Additional director general of police (law and order) AP Anshuman said the verification drive will be restarted once the model code of conduct imposed by the Election Commission of India is lifted after declaration of the results on June 4.

Uttarakhand voted in the first of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections on April 19.

“Our current priority is the successful management of Char Dham yatra. Under the drive, we do a background check of people working and settling in the state. Its objective is to maintain law and order and check the credentials of outsiders....as it has come to light several times people from outside the state commit criminal acts in the state and leave. Many times, terrorists have also been nabbed from the state by the state police and our counterparts in other states,” Anshuman added.

The drive was first started on Dhami’s instructions in April 2022 following a letter by the head of Shankaracharya Parishad, a council of seers, Swami Anand Swaroop seeking the chief minister’s intervention to “ensure non-Hindus do not own land, build houses or conduct businesses” in the region of Char Dham yatra. The annual pilgrimage to Char Dham shrines — Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath — attracts several hundred thousand pilgrims.

At the time, then Uttarakhand director general of police (DGP) Ashok Kumar said that the verification drive was being carried out “without any bias” in the state’s 13 districts. “Action will be taken against all suspicious elements irrespective of their religious background to prevent any disturbance in the state’s peace and harmony.”

In 2022, the Uttarakhand Police had started verification of people from outside the state, asking them to submit an affidavit listing their complete details. They were also asked to produce a character certificate issued by the police in their home district.

According to data released by the state government in June last year, police teams checked identity of 181,000 people including 65,174 labourers and 57,186 tenants. Of them, about 5,000 were classified as suspicious in the absence of verification of their antecedents.

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