India’s central bank refutes 'citizenship documents' hoax

  • This article is more than one year old.
  • Published on March 17, 2020 at 06:50
  • 2 min read
  • By AFP India
A photo of a purported advisory warning people that Indian banks will soon demand that account holders provide citizenship documents in order to access their money has been shared repeatedly on Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. The posts specifically warn that Muslims should withdraw their money by April 1, 2020, allegedly the day the new requirement will be imposed. The claim is false; India’s central bank said the posts were a hoax, adding that banks do not ask for such documents.

The photo of the purported advisory was published on Facebook here on March 10, 2020. The post has been shared nearly 500 times.

Below is a screenshot of the misleading post:


The advisory’s Hindi-language text translates to English as: “Important information, everyone is hereby informed that they should withdraw all their money from all the banks before March 31, 2020. From April 1, 2020, all the banks will ask for NPR documents, and if anyone fails to produce it their accounts will be blocked. Share it widely.”

The post’s caption translates as: “Important information, more importantly for Muslims, withdraw all your money from the banks by April 1, 2020, otherwise, you will lose it.”

NPR refers to the National Population Register, a government record of all “residents” of India who have lived in a specific locality for six months or more. It was first implemented in 2010 to track population density.

The photo has been shared alongside a similar claim on Facebook here and here; and on Twitter here and here.

The claim is false; the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which controls currency supplies and regulates the nation's banking system, refuted the claim, describing it as “fake news.”

"The news is absolutely false and neither banks nor RBI have asked for any NPR documentations from customers,” Yogesh Dayal, an RBI spokesperson, told AFP by phone on March 13, 2020.

The RBI has not published any press release on its website here about banks asking for NPR documents.



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