Assam NRC data goes offline; nothing to worry, say officials
Officials in Assam have reassured that data pertaining to the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) for Assam going offline is a temporary thing and the issue will be resolved in a few days.
The data, which contains information on applicants included and missing from the list released in August last year, went missing after NRC officials failed to renew contract with Wipro, the IT firm responsible for cloud storage of the data.
“The contract with Wipro for cloud storage of the data expired in October last year. The data went offline from December 15 after the company suspended its usage,” said a senior official at the state NRC coordinator’s office on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to media.
The official said the lapse happened after previous NRC state coordinator Prateek Hajela, who was transferred from the post to Madhya Pradesh following a Supreme Court directive, failed to renew the contract.
Hajela left Assam in November and the new state coordinator Hitesh Dev Sarma took charge in December after the data had already gone offline.
“We are in touch with Wipro to renew the contract and the same will be done within the next few days. Once that happens the data will appear online again and applicants can view their details,” the official said.
Data on details included in the NRC final list, which excluded 19 lakh applicants, was released online on September last year following a Supreme Court order. With the data going offline, applicants are unable to view their details or download the lists which includes their names.
Meanwhile, Opposition Congress said it suspects the issue could be the result of some malafide act and asked NRC officials to look into the “suspicious development”.
“It is a mystery as to why the online data should vanish all of a sudden, especially as the appeals process has not even started,” Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Debabrata Saikia wrote to NRC state coordinator Sarma on Tuesday.
“There is ample scope to suspect that the disappearance of online data is a mala fide act. (It) is prima facie deliberate violation of the directive issued by the Hon’ble Supreme Court,” it added.
The appeal process for those excluded from the NRC list is yet to begin as various petitions alleging anomalies in the inclusion and exclusion of names are pending in Supreme Court seeking re-evaluation of the list.