Fact-Check: Haldwani Did Not Have ‘Less Than 1,000 Muslims’ 20 Years Ago

The viral claim is false. According to the 2001 Census, Haldwani had over 80,000 Muslims living in the town.

3 min read
Hindi Female

Amid the ongoing communal riots in Uttarakhand's Haldwani, which erupted after the demolition of a madrasa, social media users shared posts comparing the change in the demographics of the city in the last 20 years.

What is the claim?: Several social media users shared visuals of the violence, linking it to an exponential rise in the population of the Muslim community in the city.

  • Those sharing such posts have claimed, "20 years back, less than 1000 Muslim population was in Haldwani. Today they are more than 1 Lakh (sic)."

The viral claim is false. According to the 2001 Census, Haldwani had over 80,000 Muslims living in the town.

An archive of this post can be seen here.

(Source: X (formerly Twitter)/ Altered by The Quint)

At the time of writing this report, this post by X user '@RealBababanaras' had more than 1.78 lakh views and was 'liked' by over 6,800 users.

  • Another version of this claim says that Muslims constituted less than one percent of Haldwani's population 20 years ago and "now its about 20% (sic)."

The viral claim is false. According to the 2001 Census, Haldwani had over 80,000 Muslims living in the town.

An archive of this post can be accessed here.

(Source: X/Screenshot)

The video shared in this claim is neither recent, nor from Haldwani. You can read our fact-check on this unrelated video here.


(Archives of more users sharing such claims can be seen here, here, and here.)

Is it true?: No, the claim has no basis in fact.

  • Data from the 2001 Census shows that Haldwani had over 80,000 people from the Muslim community residing in the area.

  • The government has not conducted the 2021 Census yet, so we do not have updated figures for the current Muslim population in Haldwani.

How did we find out?: We went to the Indian government's official website for historical census data.

  • We looked for Uttarakhand's census data from 2001, which was called Uttaranchal until 2007.

  • In a section titled 'Population by religious community, Uttaranchal - 2001', we found the document carrying town-wise population by religion.

This document showed that in 2001, a total of 4,97,869 people lived in Haldwani, of which 80,436 belonged to the Muslim community.
  • This puts the Muslim population in Haldwani in 2001, which is more than 20 years ago, at 16.15 percent of the total population.

The 2011 Census: We also looked at the official census data for 2011 to see how Haldwani's demographics had changed in a decade.

  • The updated numbers showed that Haldwani's total population had dropped to 3,64,129 people.

Out of these, 67,559 people belonged to the Muslim community, bringing their percentage share to 18.55 percent in 2011.
  • These figures are significantly higher than claimed in the viral posts.

No recent data: The Indian government has not conducted the 2021 Census survey yet.

  • The surveying process was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • There are no official sources of data which carry figures for Haldwani's demographics.


What is happening in Haldwani?: Local authorities attempted to demolish a madrasa in the Banbhoolpura area in Uttarakhand's Haldwani in an anti-encroachment drive on Thursday, 8 February.

  • The structure was deemed "illegal" by the authorities, who sealed the madrasa. Violence broke out during the demolition, leaving at least two dead and over 250 injured.

  • Internet services have been suspended in the area, and the authorities imposed Section 144 in the violence-hit area. The district administration also issued shoot-at-sight orders for rioters.

  • Three FIRs have been lodged and four accused have been taken into custody, Nainital District Magistrate (DM) Vandana Singh said during a press conference.

Conclusion: Haldwani had over 80,000 Muslim residents in 2001, who made up 16.15 percent of the city's population. The viral claim is false.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9540511818 , or e-mail it to us at and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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Topics:  Uttarakhand   Muslim Population   Haldwani 

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