The Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) authority has filed a police case against former NRC coordinator in the state, Prateek Hajela. The First Information Report or FIR, filed with the Criminal Investigation Department or CID, also names few other officials and staff who were involved in the NRC updating exercise in Assam.
The current NRC state coordinator, Hitesh Dev Sarma, has accused Mr Hajela and others of “criminal and anti-national activities”.
In his letter to the CID, Mr Dev Sarma says in the NRC updating exercise, the “Family Tree Matching” procedure was adopted to check fraudulent practices used to make false linkage claims with persons residing in Assam before 1971.
Since the NRC updating exercise involved large manpower, there was a provision for quality checks to avoid erroneous entries in the NRC before ‘Family Tree Matching’ was introduced. But, the procedure did not have any quality check system.
The NRC authority also conducted sample surveys in three places in the state to gauge the effect of an absence of quality checks, and found a good number of erroneous entries in the NRC list.
Mr Dev Sarma says the software was deliberately designed to avoid quality checks. He accused Mr Hajela of intentionally doing this which in turn gave a free hand to some officials for including doubtful citizens in the NRC list.
According to Mr Dev Sarma, this can be seen as an anti-national act affecting national security.
Mr Hajela was also accused of violating a Supreme court order in 2018 which did not permit the NRC state coordinator to review the office verification of documents already completed for 24,89,745 people. But the letter to the CID says that Mr Hajela allowed the review exercise defying the top court directive.
In September 2019, the Assam Police had registered two cases against Mr Hajela and a few unidentified officials over allegations of discrepancies in the NRC list.