Other States

4 Assam NRC officials held on graft charge

Photo: Twitter/@NRCupdateAssam

Photo: Twitter/@NRCupdateAssam  

They were allegedly charging ₹80 per head from people who came for re-verification

Four vendors assigned biometric enrollment related to National Register of Citizens (NRC) were arrested in western Assam’s Goalpara district on Wednesday. A local court sent them to 14-day judicial custody the following day.

The district police said the four were arrested from an NRC centre at Kothakuthigaon near Dhupdhara town for allegedly charging ₹ 80 per head from people who were summoned for biometrics linked with verification of citizenship documents.

The four were arrested on the basis of an FIR lodged by one Nagar Ali of Boko in the adjoining Kamrup district at the Dhupdhara police station. Dhupdhara is about 85 km west of Guwahati.

“Ali complained that the NRC centre's Barasha Das demanded Rs. 80 from him for carrying out his biometric. She and three others – Karuna Biswas, Mrinal Kalita and Soriful Hasan – argued with Ali after he refused to pay,” an inspector at the police station said.

The NRC authority clarified that the entire process from application to biometric was free of cost and people charged a fee illegally must be refunded.

This was the second such incident involving NRC centres in less than two months. On June 13, sleuths of Assam’s Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau arrested two officials of an NRC service centre in Guwahati for taking money to include a person’s name in the citizenship list.

The two – field level officer Syed Shahjahan and assistant local registrar of citizen registration Rahul Parashar – had allegedly demanded ₹ 10,000 from a woman named Kajari Ghosh Dutta for correcting some technical defects that prevented her name from being included in the draft NRC published last year.

On April 23, the police in western Assam’s Dhubri town detained two special verification officers for demanding ‘service charge’ from people summoned to submit documents for inclusion in the NRC.

The Dhubri police said special verification officer Fardous Zaman, who is sectional assistant in PWD Roads, and his deputy Swapan Dutta, a gram panchayat secretary were detained on the basis of a complaint that they demanded Rs. 300 for processing the documentation of a couple from a nearby village.

The duo had allegedly demanded Rs. 100 from the couple but increased the charge to Rs. 300 after they dithered. The resultant delay forced the couple to stay at the house of a relative who happened to work at the Dhubri deputy commissioner’s office. His plea to the district’s administrative head led to Zaman and Dutta’s detention.

The final NRC is expected to be published by August 31 as directed by the Supreme Court. Some 40.07 lakh out of 3.29 crore applicants were excluded from the complete draft of NRC that was published on June 30, 2018. Another 1.02 lakh were put in an additional exclusion list published on June 26.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 9:51:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/4-nrc-officials-held-for-graft/article28922392.ece

Next Story