Assam: Left Parties Demand Removal for Hitesh Dev Sarma as NRC Coordinator
Four Left parties in Assam are demanding the removal of Hitesh Dev Sarma as the National register of Citizens (NRC) coordinator, expressing shock and anger over his First Information Report (FIR) against his predecessor Prateek Hajela.
Readers would recall that on May 19, in a shocking turn of events in the already complicated journey of the NRC, Sarma filed an FIR against Hajela, under sections 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy), 166 (A) (public servant disobeying law), 167 (Public servant framing an incorrect document with intent to cause injury), 181 (false statement on oath or affirmation to public servant or person authorised to administer an oath or affirmation), 218 (public servant framing incorrect record or writing with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfeiture), 420 (cheating), 466 (forgery) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).
He alleged that the process of Family Tree Verification was conducted in a flawed manner under Hajela, with several “Imposters” allegedly using “fraudulent” documents to establish linkage to genuine citizens. He accused Hajela of deliberately using a software that prevented proper quality checks and permitted names of “foreigners” to be included in the NRC.
Now, the Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India – Marxist (CPIM), Communist Party of India – Marxist Leninist (CPI-ML) and the Revolutionary Communist Party of India (RCPI) have demanded that Sarma be removed for not allowing the NRC to proceed and reach its logical conclusion. The parties have demanded Sara’s removal so that the NRC process can be completed quickly, alleging that he is conspiring to sabotage the entire process instead of fulfilling his duties.
In a press release issued by all the four parties, they reminded, “The NRC process was supervised by the Supreme Court,” and that “it is worrying that instead of moving the process forward quickly, the entire process has come to a standstill since Hitesh Dev Sarma was appointed as the new NRC coordinator after the final list was prepared.” They alleged, “The 200 members of the Foreigners’ Tribunals, appointed to complete the NRC process, have not been able to start work due to conspiracy of the NRC authorities and the state government, while salaries worth crores of rupees are being paid (to them). Such waste of public funds is unacceptable under any circumstances.” They further alleged, “The coordinator, who failed to fulfill his duties, has written letters to the members of the tribunal saying that the NRC list cannot be used as evidence before foreigners’ tribunals and people have been subjected to harassment (because of this).”
The original press release in Assamese may be read here:
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