United Trust of Assam demands a correct NRC for Assam

Nava Thakuria

Guwahati: United Trust of Assam, while expressing serious concerns over the sensational allegations, floated in regards to the process of National Register of Citizens (NRC) updation in Assam, demanded a high level probe (preferably by the Central Bureau of Investigation) into the irregularities, through which it is assumed that a huge number of illegal migrants enrolled their names in the draft-list of Indian citizens.

Holding a protest demonstration in the city on Wednesday from 6 am to 6 pm, the civil society group also expressed dismay as two valid complaints, lodged by the immediate past NRC State coordinator Hitesh Dev Sarma against his predecessor Prateek Hajela, have not yet been registered. The participants in the demonstration urged the Union government in New Delhi to identify all migrants in Assam with the cut-off year of 1951 as it is applicable across the country.

“We demand a correct NRC without a single name of illegal migrants for the sake of the future of indigenous Assamese populace. Moreover, we want a fair probe into all allegations including money laundering during the NRC updation process, as the government had to spend a large volume of tax-payers’ money (around Rs 1600 crore) for the exercise under the supervision of the Supreme Court,” said UTA president Dwijen Barthakur.

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Mentionable is that the Accountant General of Assam in a provisional audit report observed that the difference of margin ranged from 45.59 to 64.27 % was exorbitant and the audit assessed that undue benefit of Rupees 155.83 crore was allowed to the system integrator(Wipro Limited) even after allowing it a 10 % reasonable profit margin. Dev Sarma in his complaint asserted that the huge amount of money indicates the issue of money laundering in the four-year long process.

Even the updation process ignored the minimum wages act, as nearly 7000 data-entry-operators were paid less than the prescribed monthly wages. The operators were paid only Rs 5,500 (to 9,100) each per month, whereas Wipro (read its sub-contractors) received Rs 14,500 (to 17,500) accordingly from the NRC authority during 2015 to 2019. It may emerge as a disturbing matter for any law-abiding Indian national, as the operators were denied their legal dues in a process that was supervised by none other than the country’s apex court.

The day-long protest program was also joined by a number of distinguished personalities including Siva Prasad Sharma, Gini Roy, Jyotirmoy Bhuyan, Bidyadhar Deka, Mainamoy Baishya, Manorama Bora, etc. They also unanimously resolved to organize a series of public awareness programs across Assam to create public opinions over the NRC issue so that the government does the needful to safeguard the interest of Assamese people.

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