A former Assam Coordinator of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) has been accused by an NGO of "treason" for allegedly manipulating data to include "illegal" persons in the list. The Assam Public Works (APW) has lodged a complaint against the officer with the state police's Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
The NRC is a register of all Indian citizens whose creation is mandated by a 2003 amendment of the Citizenship Act, 1955. Its purpose is to document all legal citizens of India so that illegal immigrants can be identified and deported. It has been implemented in Assam since 2013-2014.
The APW's latest complaint accuses former Coordinator Prateek Hajela of "gross anomaly" in the process of aggregating the register.
"It is suspected that there have been manipulations in the family tree verification," APW has alleged.
"We suspect Prateek Hajela and his close associates, in collaboration with some officers with migrant backgrounds, data entry operators, some minority leaders, and some anti-national elements, has used the mechanism to insert the names of illegal migrants in the updated NRC," it said.
APW is also the main petitioner in the NRC-related case filed in the Supreme Court. This is the 10th complaint APW has filed against Mr Hajela. The earlier ones were lodged with the state police and CBI.
In the latest one, APW has cited a report filed by the present Coordinator to allege up to 40 per cent "wrong uploading" of the results of the family tree-matching exercise.
This "cannot be treated as a normal human error, but...a well-planned, well-coordinated effort to include undeserving persons' names into the NRC. This is an act of treason towards the nation," the APW stated.
"It is felt that if the call records...are analysed, the nexus...will come to light, enabling law-enforcement agencies to take action against such anti-national activities," said APW President Aabhijit Sharma.
The final draft of NRC was published on August 31, 2019, showing over 19 lakh people in Assam excluded from it. Up to 3.29 crore people had sought inclusion in NRC, out of which 3.11 crore made it.