Assam’s former state coordinator of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) Hitesh Dev Sarma on Saturday claimed that a large number of illegal foreign nationals were included in the NRC published on August 31, 2019. Sarma said that there was a lot of confusion in the NRC and names of wrong people were included in the list. The names of such people were recorded as the original inhabitants of Assam.
Sarma was appointed as the state coordinator in November 2019. He also appealed to the Supreme Court to get the people involved in the NRC re-verified. He said that he had also filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court citing the irregularities committed while updating the NRC. He said that during re-verification around 20 lakh people out of 24 lakh were re-verified and 13 lakh names were entered in the NRC database, whose document verification result was not genuine.
He also said that the list which was published on August 31, 2019, was just a supplementary list. There was no third-party monitoring during the exercise of updating the NRC. The Supreme Court-monitored the system, but it was only through Prateek Hajela (former NRC State Coordinator). When both the executor and the monitoring authority are the same, you may not get a good result. The central government and the state government were kept out of the entire system by the Supreme Court and they were asked not to interfere in the process. The list published on August 31, 2019, was a supplementary list of exclusions and inclusions of the NRC.
He further said that the appeal of the Assam government for re-verification of 20 per cent in border areas and 10 per cent in other districts was rejected by the Supreme Court. The state government has not yet filed any affidavit for re-verification. Earlier, he had lodged two FIRs against former NRC state coordinator Prateek Hajela. One was for procedural errors in the process and the other for financial irregularities.