A 65-year-old woman was arrested on Friday for contesting panchayat elections from a village in Etah in 2015 by allegedly hiding her Pakistan nationality.
“Bano Begum was arrested and later produced before a local court of Etah which sent her to judicial custody on Friday,” said station house officer, Jalesar police station, KP Singh, adding that she had been booked under the Foreigners’ Act.
The police are investigating how Begum, who is unlettered, was issued an Aadhaar and a voter card. According to the police, she has been been living in India for nearly 40 years on a long-term visa and was elected as a panchayat member in 2015. Begum is accused of hiding facts while filing her nomination papers for the election and was nominated as the officiating village pradhan following the death of the elected village head.
She resigned from the post after the district administration began an inquiry after receiving a complaint against her last month.
The police said the accused came to India in the 1980s and got married to one Akhtar Ali, a resident of Gudahu. She never returned to her residence in Karachi after marriage. She was staying in India on a long-term visa — which was regularly extended, the last in 2019.