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    Assam Public Works Demands CBI, NIA Probe Against Prateek Hajela

    Hajela has been sent on deputation to Madhya Pradesh as per the order of the Supreme Court

    The Assam Public Works (APW) on December 30th, 2019 met newly-appointed National Register of Citizens (NRC) coordinator in Guwahati and demanded CBI, NIA inquiry against the former NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela.

    APW president Abhijit Sarma also submitted a memorandum to NRC coordinator Hitesh Dev Sarma. APW alleged financial irregularities worth several crores by Hajela.

    The Comptroller and Auditor General of India have detected financial irregularities to the tune of Rs 108 Crore in the recently updated Supreme Court-monitored NRC in the state.

    The APW is one of the original petitioners in the Assam NRC case filed in the Supreme Court. Earlier, an FIR has been lodged against the Hajela by the APW at the Anti-Corruption Branch, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Betkuchi, Guwahati.

    In the FIR, the APW demanded “high–level probe over the huge amount of corruption/misappropriation of government money by Hajela with his close aids in updation of NRC in Assam”. A copy of the FIR is available with Time8.

    It may be noted, Hajela has been sent on deputation to Madhya Pradesh as per the order of the Supreme Court. He is a 1995 batch IAS officer of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre. The bureaucrat has been subject to severe criticism from political and apolitical organisations, who were unhappy with the exclusion figure in the NRC list.

    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.

    Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the State government has rejected the present NRC and demanded verification of 20 per cent names from the border districts.

    “The Assam government is extremely unhappy and has rejected the NRC. We want verification of 20 per cent of names in the border areas. If the Supreme Court accepts our demand, we (Assam) don’t need a national one,” Sarma said while addressing a presser in Guwahati on December 23rd, 2019.

    Photo credit: @dhrubaborah

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