Two officials caught taking bribe to include name in NRC list
Two officials involved in updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam were arrested on Thursday for allegedly accepting bribe to enter the name of an applicant in the final draft.
Sleuths of directorate and vigilance and anti-corruption nabbed Syed Shahjahan, 48, a field level officer and Rahul Parasar, 27, an assistant local registrar of citizen registration—both posted at an NRC centre in Dispur locality of Guwahati.
Both officials were arrested following a complaint by Kajari Ghosh Dutta, a resident of Ananda Nagar.
“The accused had demanded a bribe of Rs 10,000 for entering the name of the complainant in the draft NRC. The accused had highlighted some technical defects in her application and demanded a bribe to enter her name in the final draft of NRC,” read a statement by the police.
Shahjahan was arrested while allegedly accepting Rs 10,000 from the complainant and Parasar was nabbed for his involvement in the crime.
However, the NRC office issued a press statement saying that the NRC officials at Ganeshguri centre of Dispur circle had no role to play in exclusion or inclusion of the complainant in the crucial draft.
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“It is affirmed that any official found involved in any illegal activity will be punished as per law. However, preliminary findings indicate that the NRC officials at Ganeshguri NSK of Dispur circle have no role to play in the matter of inclusion or exclusion of the claimant/complainant,” it read.
The NRC office stated that hearings related to the complainant’s entry or exclusion from the draft had already been completed in May at a different venue by another officer.
“It is reiterated that the system of NRC update is strong enough to ensure quality and will remain unaffected even in case of complicity by any official. The public, therefore, need not get worried with such incidents insofar as quality of NRC is concerned,” the release stated.
The NRC, which was first prepared in 1951, is being updated in Assam in an effort to weed out illegal immigrants. The first draft released last year had excluded names of 40 lakh applicants.
The process being monitored by Supreme Court has come under intense scrutiny over allegations that names of genuine citizens have been left out. The process of hearings of claims and objections is underway. The final list of NRC will be published on July 31.