Assam NRC coordinator files FIR against some officers for anti-national activities

Assam’s National Registry of Citizens (NRC) Coordinator, Hitesh Dev Sarma, has filed an FIR alleging criminal and anti-national activities by some officers and staff under the former NRC Coordinator’s update , Prateek Hajela.

The FIR was filed with the Superintendent of Police, Criminal Investigation Department, Assam.

He alleged, “I have the honor to inform you that for the update of the NRC, various procedures have been adopted, including the Family Tree Matching program. The Family Tree Matching program was resumed when it was found that there were deficiencies in the verification of the documents some authentic documents could have been used to make false claims of connection to a person from the era before 1971. During the verification of the office, it was noticed that the Fraudulently submitted documents could not be detected simply by desk and field verification, while some impostors tried to establish a link with a genuine citizen through these fraudulently acquired documents.“Family Tree Matching” was introduced as a remedy In the process of Family Tree Matching, all descendants of an “inherited person” whose lineage is claimed were asked to submit details of their family, which were then compared and matched via software (eForm 3 & LVRRS) with other family trees submitted by descendants of the same inherited person. Thus, there appears to be a disconnect as there is an attempt to claim false lineage, as elaborate verification can easily reveal the names of people who are not biological descendants of the inherited person. The mechanism was designed to be such that the family trees of genuine offspring match each other, and the family trees of imposters, who attempt to assume descent through inherited pre-1971 records like their ancestors, do not do not correspond to that of the authentic descendants. The “family tree” match would have been the ultimate method of full NRC verification, if done with due diligence. However, the evidence now indicates that due diligence was not exercised in conducting this process.”

He added, “It is suspected that despite the Supreme Court of India’s mandate for an error-free NRC, the then State Coordinator, NRC Prateek Hajela may have intentionally evaded quality control mandatory by ordering the use of software that impeded quality control and facilitated the entry of the names of ineligible individuals into the NRC, which may be considered an anti-national act affecting national security. cannot be considered a normal mistake but an intentional act threatening national security.Hajela’s complicity in this anti-national act cannot be ruled out because he used the software which did not provide quality checks allowing verification officers and to data entry operators to freely upload erroneous Family Tree Matching results with an ulterior motive.”

He said: “The desk verification of the documents submitted by the applicants was carried out by sending the scan of these documents to the issuing authority to verify the authenticity of the documents, which is called back-end verification. This process has was launched from October 2015. The back-end verification was almost a foolproof method to detect the submission of false/false documents.About 6.5 crores of documents were sent to issuing authorities for back-check and the results of the verification of all the documents could not be received in a timely manner. This Court also requested the Chief Secretaries of the States to expedite the submission of the verification report in its various orders. The results of certain documents were received as “NO” in the categories FD (falsified document), RNA (record not available) or ILL (illegible), invalid document (ID), while a large part of the d documents remained pending with the issuing authorities for which no final result could be received. cation was suddenly removed and documents in the above categories, except for FD, were reviewed by the District Magistrate’s Investigative Team (DMIT). DMlTs were asked to verify and compare the original documents and determine the authenticity of these documents through their subjective decisions when the final verification result was “NO”. In the initial phase of DMIT (Round I), the DMIT team would go house to house and conduct the investigation for the documents where the results were received from the issuing authorities as NO, the reason being ARN or ILL. The Verification Team (VT) would record its findings subjectively in a prescribed format”

The FIR said: “The above exercise was authorized by the then State Coordinator, Hajela, in violation of the order of the Supreme Court of India which facilitated the entry of names of ineligible persons in the NRC whose document check results were negative in the main document check.Thus, Hajela, then State Coordinator, NRC, knowingly disobeyed the direction of the law as to how he must conduct himself as a public servant, with the intention of causing harm to genuine citizens as well as endangering national security by securing the presence of questionable persons harmful to the security of the nation”.

The FIR alleged that the verification had not been carried out correctly.

“About 30,684 people were wrongly entered into the NRC draft via Clause 3(3) identification. The remaining 33,794 out of 64,247 marked as ‘originally inhabitant of Assam’ were not called for further verification and it is likely that the majority of this lot was erroneously entered into the NRC project through the identification “Originally Inhabitant of Assam”. A similar exercise has however not been done in any other other parts of

state, thus leading to the suspicion that there might be more ineligible persons whose names were entered into the NRC through the window of clause 3(3), the originally resident criteria, against which there is no There was no provision for additional verification.

The FIR stated that Hajela, then State Coordinator, NRC, intended from the outset to commit the above acts which constitute a serious criminal offense in addition to endangering national security. “I therefore request your kind office to register a case UIS 120 B, 166 A, 167, 181 read with Sec 34 and other relevant sections of the IPC against Hajela, then State Coordinator, as well as the agents and data entry operators as attached in Annex B and make the detailed investigations necessary to indict perpetrators who are involved in anti-national activities.”

About 3.30 crore people had applied to be included in the NRC, but the names of almost 40 lakh of them were excluded from the NRC draft released on July 30, 2018. Among them, about 36.28 lakh of people had asked to be included on the list and around 2 lakhs had registered their objections. They were summoned for subsequent hearings where arrangements were made to obtain their biometrics.

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Richard V. Johnson