Guwahati: The state coordinator of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Hitesh Dev Sarma, has asked all Deputy Commissioners in Assam to provide details of “ineligible persons” who have been included in the NRC “positively by Feb 20, 2020”.
A notice addressed to the Deputy Commissioner and District Registrar of Citizen Registration (DRCR) for all districts on Wednesday reads, “It has come to the knowledge of the undersigned that after publication of final NRC on 31st August 2019, few names of ineligible persons are found present in the final NRC, particularly who are Doubtful Voters (DV), Declared Foreigner (DF), those with cases pending in Foreigners’ Tribunal (PFT) and descendants of DV (DVD), DFD, PFTD”.
“You are requested to share the details of such persons who are ineligible for inclusion in NRC, but whose names got included…,” the notice further mentions.
The NRC Coordinator stated that “the matter is of utmost importance as the details have to be reported to the Registrar General of India urgently”.
The letter comes at a time when 3.3 crore people of Assam, who had applied for the citizenship test, are unable to view their inclusion or exclusion status in the official NRC website. Over 19 lakh people were left out of the final NRC list published on August 31, 2019.
Concerns were raised when the entire database went offline from the Wipro cloud service, with allegations of ‘malafide intent’ being brought up by the Opposition. However, Wipro has issued a statement clarifying that the disappearance of the database is due to pending payment.
The page of publication of final NRC now states: “This service shall be activated phase-wise”.
While the disappearance of the NRC data has raised anxieties, former state NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela had earlier clarified that anyone could be considered for inclusion or exclusion depending on the Foreigner Tribunal’s decision.
Hajela was released from his duties as coordinator between the Supreme Court and the state government on November 11 last year. This came after a Supreme Court directive that enabled his transfer from Assam to home State Madhya Pradesh.
The letter seeking details of “ineligible persons” comes after the Supreme Court had earlier rejected the state government's demand to reopen and re-verify the NRC data, and ordered that the list of those excluded from the final Assam NRC be only published online. The hard copies of lists of inclusions and exclusions were to be provided at district offices.
Meanwhile, the NRC state coordinator on Tuesday allowed the release of thousands of Assam government officials engaged in NRC work on "various grounds like superannuation or transfer with the promotion”.
In a letter written to the DCs of all districts, Hitesh Dev Sarma said, “...as per the decision taken in the NRC Coordination Committee meeting held on 30/01/2020, you may release LRCRs/ALRCRs (Local Registrar of Citizens Registration/ Additional Local Registrar of Citizens Registers) on posting of their relievers and the new officer will take over the charge of the LRCR/ALRCR”.
“If the relieving officers do not have experience in NRC work, then he or she may be "suitably trained" by the additional deputy commissioner in-charge of NRC or the district project supervisor, he further stated.
A total of 55,000 government employees were engaged for the NRC update exercise in Assam.