Assam NGO demands CBI probe on NRC funds


The Assam Public Works (APW), the original petitioner in the Supreme Court that led to the initiation of the NRC process in the state, on Tuesday demanded a CBI investigation on utilisation of funds allocated for updating the citizens list.

The central and state governments had allocated funds for updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and their utilisation by officials concerned must be investigated by the CBI, APW President Aabhijeet Sharma told reporters here.

“More than Rs 1,600 crore has been spent in the NRC process and there is suspicion of misutilisation of funds by the authorities concerned which must be investigated at the earliest,” he said.

The NGO also demanded that the Enforcement Directorate must be assigned to find out whether there was manipulation by some individuals to appropriate the allocated funds or not.

The other areas that need to be investigated include the recruitment process of the officers involved in the updating process, the technology used and whether the outsourcing of various activities to various agencies performed their tasks properly or not, Sharma said.

The central government should also release details of the exact amount of money spent in the entire NRC process and also whether “timely audits of the funds allocated by the state and the Centre were carried out and were proper as per the books”, he said.

“A huge amount of money has been spent in the NRC process and it should have been monitored and audited at regular intervals,” he said.

The technology, including software and hardware used in the process, must also be verified by some internationally-acclaimed institutions, beyond the reach of the authorities involved in the process, he said.

It is indeed unfortunate that the indigenous people of the state like Koch, Rajbongshi, Rabha, Ahom, Bodo, Tiwa, Karbi, Mishing, Tiwa, Dimasa and others had to stand in queues and face interrogation to include their names in NRC along with the illegal immigrants, Sharma pointed out.

“Even after such efforts, the names of many indigenous people are missing from the final NRC while illegal intruders from Bangladesh have been included,” he alleged.

The APW appealed to the central government to ensure that the names of those indigenous people excluded from the NRC are included and they do not face further harassment or are sent to the detention centres.

Sharma said the NGO will again move to the court demanding re-verification as “we have evidence of names of people, identified as Bangladeshis, included in the NRC”.