English, Fake News

The viral claim that the Muslim population in Haldwani has increased from less than 1000 to more than one lakh in 20 years is false.


On 8 February 2024, violence erupted in Haldwani, Uttarakhand, as authorities initiated the demolition of a mosque and madrasa in the Banbhoolpura area during an anti-encroachment drive. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Dhami issued shoot-on-sight orders in response to reports of vandalism, stone-pelting, and the surrounding of a police station by a mob. Amidst this, a post is widely circulating on social media platforms, claiming that there were less than 1000 Muslims in Haldwani 20 years ago, and today there are more than one lakh Muslims. In this article, let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.

The archived version of this post can be found here.

Claim: 20 years ago, there were fewer than 1000 Muslims in Haldwani, and today, the Muslim population in Haldwani has exceeded one lakh.

Fact: The Viral claim that the Muslim population in Haldwani, Uttarakhand, was less than 1000 twenty years ago and has now increased to more than one lakh is incorrect. According to the official 2001 and 2011 Census data, the population of Muslims in Haldwani was 67,559 and 80,436 respectively in 2011 and 2001. Since the 2021 census has not been conducted yet, recent population figures are not available. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.

To verify the viral claim, we examined Census data provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs. To gather information from about 20 years ago, we referred to the 2001 census data as it is the closest census available to 2004. According to the 2001 Census, Haldwani had a total population of 497,869 individuals. Among this total population, 80,436 people belonged to the Muslim community, with 43,133 being males and 37,303 being females. In terms of percentage, the Muslim population in 2001 was approximately 16% of Haldwani’s total population.

Following this, we examined the figures for 2011. According to the 2011 Census data, the total population of Haldwani was 364,129 (from 497,869 in 2001). Meanwhile, the Muslim population within the total population was 67,559 (35,541 for men and 32,018 for women). In terms of percentage, this amounted to approximately 18%. As per the 2011 Census, Hindus (287,015) constituted the largest segment of the population, followed by Muslims (67,559), Sikhs (6,514), and Christians (2,423). From this information, it is evident that in the year 2001, the Muslim population in Haldwani was 80,436 out of a total of 497,869. In the year 2011, the Muslim population was 67,559 out of a total population of 364,129.

The viral claim also suggests that there are more than 1 lakh people in the Muslim community in Haldwani today. However, there is no official record or evidence to support this claim due to the postponement of the 2021 Census following the COVID-19 pandemic. According to news reports , Census 2021 has been postponed to 2024-25. As of now, the recent official demographic figures of Haldwani are unknown.

According to a 2017 response in the Rajya Sabha by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, around 40,000 Rohingya immigrants reside in India, with significant settlements in Jammu & Kashmir, Telangana, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and Rajasthan.

To sum it up, the viral claim stating that the Muslim population in Haldwani has increased from less than 1000 to more than one lakh in 20 years is false.


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