Tarun Gogoi
File photo of former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi. Image credit - Northeast Now

Former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi feels Prateek Hajela’s transfer will render the NRC update process “radarless”.

NRC state coordinator Prateek Hajela has been recently transferred to Madhya Pradesh on deputation.

“Hajela’s transfer will turn the ongoing NRC update process radarless and headless,” Gogoi told mediapersons at his residence on Tuesday.

The final NRC list was published on August 31 last, excluding more than 19 lakh applicants. That has provoked an outcry.

Also read: Assam: Nineteen of freedom fighter’s family excluded from final NRC

The three-time former Assam CM said the apex court should have issued the transfer order only after making an alternative arrangement.

“I will also blame the Supreme Court. An alternative arrangement should have been made,” said Gogoi.

Also read: Assam minister Himanta’s three ways to fix loopholes in NRC

Some organizations have hailed NRC coordinator Hajela for completing the NRC update.

But the BJP and local groups have slammed him for ‘too many faulty inclusions’ and minority groups have blamed the process for leaving out genuine Indian citizens.

Assam Public Works (APW), which has spearheaded the legal battle for an error-free NRC, has sought re-verification of the list which it says contains ‘discrepancies’.

Three separate FIRs were also lodged against Hajela by a lawyer, a Muslim students’ organization and APW alleging ‘discrepancies’ in the final list.

Assam finance minister and convenor of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) Himanta Biswa Sarma also sought re-verification of the NRC final list and strongly attacked Hajela.

Sarma said a large number of names of illegal immigrants have been included in the list using false legacy data.

As demanded by AASU, the NRC update process was started in Assam to identify illegal foreigners, mostly from Bangladesh, who entered Assam before March 25, 1971.

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