The Assam government on November 30th, 2019 has appointed Babulal Sharma, Secretary of Home and Political Department, as the temporary coordinator of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
After Prateek Hajela’s transfer to Madhya Pradesh, the state government had appointed Hitesh Dev Sarma as the new NRC Coordinator. As per information received, Sharma will look into the matters till Sarma returns from leave.
The updation of the NRC was aimed at identifying illegal migrants living in India. The Assam government on August 31st, 2019 officially released the final NRC list where names of 3,11,21,004 persons were found eligible and 19,06,657 persons were excluded from the list including those who did not submit claims.
Hejala had to severe criticism from political and apolitical organisations, who were unhappy with the exclusion figure in the NRC list. On the other hand, Barpeta Congress MP Abdul Khaleque has urged Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to remove “biased, partial and not trustworthy” Sarma as the NRC Coordinator.
NGO Assam Public Works, the original petitioner in the Supreme Court which led to the updation of the NRC, has filed an FIR in the CBI against Hajela alleging corruption in the NRC case.
Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma recently said the Comptroller and Auditor General of India have detected huge irregularities and anomalies in the NRC updation process in the state.