Seize Prateek Hajela’s passport till NRC audit is completed: Assam Public Works


Guwahati: The original petitioner in the Supreme Court seeking updation of the NRC in Assam on Tuesday urged the government to “seize” the passport of the NRC State Coordinator, Prateek Hajela, till auditing of the entire process was completed.

The apex court on Friday had directed the Centre and the Assam government to transfer the Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) Coordinator to Madhya Pradesh for the maximum period.

Describing Hajela’s “dramatic exit” from the state as a matter of grave concern, president of the Assam Public Works President (APW), Aabhijeet Sharma, said in a statement that the government should ensure that he cannot leave the country till auditing of the NRC process was completed.

The government has a major responsibility to find out how a government official who has been solely responsible for spending Rs 1,600 crore of government money can leave Assam without submitting any detailed report of expenses, Sharma said.

The NRC was a process on which the people of Assam had pinned their hopes but the release of the final list was “full of flaws and it has broken the hearts of many”, Sharma said.

The final NRC was released on August 31 with 19,06,657 of the total 3,30,27,661 applicants excluded.

“We were eagerly waiting for the views of the Supreme Court on the final NRC but were really surprised on October 18, when it gave an order to transfer Hajela to Madhya Pradesh and that he be released within seven days,” he said.

The APW president alleged that the NRC State Coordinator had submitted some documents to the court stating that there was risk to his life.

“We really dont understand the courts order regarding his immediate transfer. We still wonder why no order was issued for entrusting his security with any organisation or department…,” he said.

The APW will submit another petition before the Supreme Court on November 17 urging investigations into the various aspects of the NRC process by investigating agencies, such as CBI and NIA, Sharma added.

In 2009, the APW had filed a petition in the Supreme Court praying that names of 41 lakh foreigners be deleted from the electoral rolls of Assam and the NRC updated.

The apex court in 2013 took up the APW petition and directed both the Central and state governments to begin the process for updating the NRC and the actual work began two years later.