On February 8, violence broke out in Haldwani, Uttarakhand, after the municipal corporation razed a building housing a madrasa and a mosque. Against this backdrop, several claims were circulated on social media. One of these said that 20 years ago, the number of Muslims living in Haldwani was less than 1000, but it has increased to more than 1 Lakh now. Some claimed that Muslims made up 1% of Haldwani’s population two decades ago, and now this figure stands at 20%.

Right-Wing account Baba Banaras tweeted a video and wrote that 20 years ago, the number of Muslims in Haldwani tehsil in Uttarakhand was less than 1,000, but now their number has increased to more than 1 lakh. (Archived link)

It is to be noted that the video used with the claim only depicted the recent violence in Haldwani. A user named Nilesh Yadav made a similar claim while tweeting the video. (Archived link)

While sharing a different clip, a user named Lukky Vaishnav stated that 20 years ago the population of Muslims in Haldwani was 1% of the total number, but now they make up 20% of the population. However, the video posted by the user is old and is not from Haldwani, but from Haridwar, which Alt News has previously fact-checked.

Fact Check

Alt News examined data from the 2001 Census to find out the religion-wise population in Haldwani, Uttarakhand two decades ago. At that time, Uttarakhand was named Uttaranchal. We discovered that in 2001, the total population of Haldwani, Uttarakhand was 4,97,869, out of which 80,436 people were Muslims. In other words, Muslims made up around 16.15% of Haldwani’s total population in 2001.

We also referred to the 2011 Census to find out the increase in the Muslim population in Haldwani. According to this, the total population of Uttarakhand decreased to 3,64,129 in 2011. There was also a decline in the Muslim population, coming down to 67,559. However, in percentage terms, the population of Muslims increased by 2.4 percent between the 2001 and 2011 Census. Muslims comprised about 18.55% of the total population in Haldwani in 2011.

The Indian government has not yet carried out the census that was to be held in 2021, hence new data is not available. However, the claim of a huge spike of Muslims in Haldwani is misleading and baseless. We also found the claim regarding Haldwani’s Muslim population being less than 1,000 in 2001 to be false. In reality, as per the 2001 Census, the number of Muslims in Haldwani at that time was more than 80,000.


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About the Author

Abhishek is a senior fact-checking journalist and researcher at Alt News. He has a keen interest in information verification and technology. He is always eager to learn new skills, explore new OSINT tools and techniques. Prior to joining Alt News, he worked in the field of content development and analysis with a major focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO).