The last few days have witnessed certain opinions expressed and reported in the media alleging that work on NRC update has slowed down under the new Government and that no information about NRC update process has been made public till date. There are also reports that NRC documents were found in a Hotel / Tea Shop. The said news items have come to the notice of the office of the State Coordinator, NRC. Insofar as the matter of NRC documents being found in a Hotel / Tea Shopis concerned, a separate Media Response has already been uploaded in the NRC Web-site. About other matters, the State Coordinator addressed a Press Meet at 5 PM on 20th October, 2016 in his office wherein the following points were highlighted :
* The State Government has accorded topmost priority to the process of update of the NRC, 1951 and the same has been communicated to all concerned through various means during the last 4-5 months.
* The first Government office that the Hon’ble Chief Minister visited immediately after taking charge on May, 25, 2016 was the NRC office. He visited the NRC State Office even before entering his own office and took stock of the NRC Update process.
* Within a few days of assuming charge, the Hon’ble Chief Minister held Zonal Review Meetings at Dibrugarh, Bongaigaon and Silchar with the DCs&SPs to review matters of NRC update process and directed them to expedite the NRC update exercise.
* Similar instruction were conveyed again by the Hon’bleChief Minister during his address to the DCs and SPs during their Conference held on 29th September, 2016.
* Strict instructions issued by State Government to the Deputy Commissioners on NRC Update matters. Chief Secretary has written DO letters (dated 4th October, 2016) to all DCs to accord topmost priority to NRC Update works.
* Works of NRC Update exercise are going on at full swing. Speed cannot be allowed to bulldoze quality in a “once in a lifetime” exercise wherein maintenance of accuracy has been emphasised by the Apex Court. As such, verification works are being carried out at an optimum speed to ensure that there is no compromise with quality. The pace may appear to be slow to the outside world but the magnitude of achievements are extremely huge in comparison with the time frame. The Speed of NRC works has also increased significantly during the last few months. In his speech on 15th August, the Hon’ble Chief Minister declared that the NRC update will be completed by 2017.
* Around 50,000 Government officers and other staff apart from 8500 data entry operators are working on war footing to complete the exercise as soon as possible. Total 68.21 lakh families have applied for inclusion in updated NRC, involving around 3.27 crores persons with 6.67 crore documents submitted.The task of NRC Update is “mammoth” with the verification works involving unprecedented volumes of physical verification, computerisation and digitisation.
* 4.94 crore documents out of targeted 5.96 crores documents have already been verified.The documents verification process adopted is the first of its kind wherein all documents are being verified through comparison with the original records/backend available with the issuing authorities.
* All Manual Family Tree Forms submitted by the public have been scanned already. Software for Family Tree checking for all those submitting Legacy Data in their Applications developed and launched across the entire state and computer data entry completed for62.15% (35.52 lakhs) Application Forms) already.
* Hon’ble CM has already written DO letters to Hon’ble Union Home Minister and also met him personally repeatedly to sanction the funds required for NRC Update exercise.Hon’bleCM has also taken up the issue with the Hon’blePrime Minister. As a result of his continuous perseverance, assurance has been received from Government of India on 19th October, 2016 to sanction additional funds of Rs 620 crores. This would increase the sanctioned amount to Rs. 908 crores from the earlier amount of Rs 288.18 crores. All the required fundsalso to be released by Government of India shortly.An amount of Rs 249 crores provisioned by the State Government in its Budget during the last Budget Session.
* The Registrar General of India accompanied by the Joint Secretary (NE), Ministry of Home Affairs, visited Guwahati on 27th and 28th September, 2016 and held elaborate discussions with the State Government officials on the progress of NRC Update exercise.
* The State Coordinator will submit the Progress Report to the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the next hearing scheduled to be held on 26th October, 2016.
Asomiya Pratidin & Doinik Agradoot Report : ‘Asomiya Pratidin’ & ‘Doinik Agradoot’ in their issues dated 19th October, 2016 published reports under caption “ ঢেকীয়াজুলিত চাঞ্চল্য- হোটেলত উদ্ধাৰ এন আৰ চি’ৰ নথি-পত্ৰ”/ “এন আৰ চি’ৰ নথি উদ্ধাৰ ঢেকীয়াজুলিৰ হোটেলত” respectively in which great public resentment is alleged to have grown over the incident of recovery of documents submitted by the local people for NRC update process to Pirakata Gaon Panchayat NSK in Dhekiajuli Revenue Circle under Sonitpur district in a hotel of Dhekiajuli town. According to the report, some customers while having tea at the tea stall of one Subal Dutta in Dhekiajuli town daily market noticed the documents being used as paper plates to serve sweets etc and local reporters immediately informed Ms Liza talukdar, Circle Officer of Dhekiajuli Revenue Circle who filed an FIR against the Secreatry, Pirakata GP and LRCR of Pirakata GP NSK. The owner of the hotel is reported to have bought the documents/papers from a petty vendor of old papers etc. Police has reportedly seized the documents from the hotel and started investigation on the matter.
The Sentinel Report : The media report captioned “Bags of NRC documents seized in Dhekiajuli hotel, one arrested” published in ‘The Sentinel’ in its issue dated 20th October, 2016, said that 3 more bags of NRC documents of Rakhasmari Gaon Panchayat and Niz Borsola Gaon Panchayat area allegedly containing voters list, circle officer certified documents, marriage certificates, among others, of the NRC applicants were recovered by Dhekiajuli Police on Wednesday from a hotel owned by one Subal Dutta in Dhekiajuli daily bazaar. According to the report, The Circle Officer, Dhekiajuli is reportedly filed FIR against the concerned GP Presidents/councillors and Police has arrested the councillor of Rakhasmari GP while the others are absconding. The documents were reportedly brought to a private DTP centre for uploading.
Our Response :The reports about appearance of NRC documents in a Hotel/Tea Shop are absolutely incorrect and misleading. The said documents which have been reported to be so found are not NRC documents. The public have submitted various kinds of documents in support of their eligibility for inclusion in updated NRC viz. Electoral Rolls, Educational Certificates, Rations Cards, Employment Certificates etc. These documents have been issued by various issuing authorities across the state and the country, some even from outside India. NRC authorities or the NRC Update exercise cannot be dragged into the issue of loss of any documents from such issuing authorities. The instant case at Dhekiajuli is also such where copies of some certificates issued by certain Gram Panchayat Offices are being found outside such office. This appearance of the documents outside the Gram Panchayat office premises has no relation with the NRC Update exercise. Public may rest assured that all documents submitted by them with the NRC authorities are in safe custody. NRC update exercise cannot be held responsible for possible loss of copies of documents from the offices of the various issuing authorities whether such documents may have been used for submission with NRC Application Forms or not.