Guwahati: At a time when concerns have been raised over the entire National Register of Citizen (NRC) database going offline from Wipro cloud service, the office of the state NRC Coordinator lodged a police complaint against the former NRC project manager Ajupi Baruah for not divulging password of two official email IDs. Baruah, however, immediately mailed the password upon learning that an FIR has been filed against her alleging ‘unauthorized possession of the password’.
In the FIR lodged at the Paltan Bazar police station in Guwahati, it has been alleged that Baruah resigned and handed over the charge on November 11 last year, but did not share the password of the official email IDs.
Baruah said she finds it “strange” as it was “mutually agreed” to share the password in person with the complainant Chandana Mahanta, the NRC Executive Director.
“It is not a protocol to give password over phone. When I received a letter on February 7, 2020 asking me for the password to my Gmail account, I informed her (Chandana Mahanta) over the phone that I would be away for a few days, and would meet her in person on February 17 to hand over the password. She had agreed to it then. I use this account for personal and sometimes, official purpose. Earlier, we had a government account under nic.in, but it was deactivated almost two years ago. This account is personal. It does not have NRC data,” said Baruah.
“They never said it was urgent. And I had not left suddenly, but duly served a month’s notice period. They escalated the issue without even asking me once for the password for so long. We worked for 4-5 years together. I have always been in touch with them,” added Baruah who had been working at the office of the state NRC Coordinator since 2014.
The complaint mentioned that the two email accounts contain ‘very sensitive correspondences or information on NRC’, and unauthorized possession of the password by Ajupi Baruah is ‘violation of Section 5 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923 as it is related to national security and integrity’.
Meanwhile, IT services major Wipro has clarified that the disappearance of the Assam NRC data from its cloud service is related to a non-payment of dues and will be restored once the government makes the payment - the contract for the project expired in October 2019, but no payment was made for renewal. Wipro worked with the Registrar General of India and the Ministry of Home Affairs in the Supreme Court-mandated National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise in Assam. The government said that the data is ‘safe’ and will be available online soon.