Assam NRC data 'vanishes' from website, triggers panic

Assam NRC data 'vanishes' from website, panic grips applicants

National Register of Citizens logo. (DH File Photo)

All data containing names of those included and excluded from the updated NRC in Assam was found missing from the website resulting in panic among many applicants.

According to officials, the data was made offline as the contract for cloud storage of the NRC data with IT company WIPRO ended on October 19 last year and it was not renewed by Prateek Hajela, who served as the NRC state co-ordinator till November 12. The data was found missing from December 15.

Reacting to the incident, MHA clarified that it was due to a technical glitch and the data would be restored in a few days. 

The complete detail of exclusion and inclusion of bonafide Indian citizens in the Assam NRC was uploaded on its official website '''' after the final list was published on August 31 last year.

Out of the total of 3,30,27,661 applicants, who submitted their applications along with pre-March 24, 1971 documents as proof of Indian citizenship, 3,11,21,004 persons figured in the final list. Over 19.06 lakh people were found missing from the list.

After Hajela was transferred to Madhya Pradesh as per an order of the Supreme Court, the Assam government appointed Hitesh Deb Sarma in October. But Sharma joined the office on December 24. 

"WIPRO is responsible for the cloud service which enables the public to see NRC on the internet. The cloud service was discontinued before my joining. I have asked them to continue it again. Hopefully, it will be resumed within a few days," Sarma said.

Leader of the Opposition and Congress leader Debabrata Saikia wrote a letter to Register General of India calling it a mystery. "It is a mystery as to why the online data should vanish all of a sudden, especially as the appeals process has not even started due to the go-slow attitude adopted by the NRC authority. There is, therefore, ample scope to suspect that the disappearance of online data is a mala fide act. Indeed, the deletion of data from the NRC website at a time when the appeals process is yet is starting, is prima facie a deliberate violation of the directive issued by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. This act also violates the rules pertaining to the NRC, which stipulates various processes post-publication of the NRC," Saikia said.

The disappearance of the NRC data left many applicants worried. "I am really scared as the government is making flip flop regarding the NRC. As the government is claiming that many people submitted fake documents to get into the final list, it may now remove names of those, whom it considered as ineligible," said an applicant. 

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