A team of five-six persons conducting an economic survey on behalf of the state government were allegedly held hostage by residents of a Greater Noida village after they were allegedly mistaken for surveyors “collecting information for the National Register of Citizens”.
According to police, Raj Singh, a village-level entrepreneur, and his team were collecting data on services provided to villagers in areas where internet connectivity is less than optimal, when they were stopped by a few residents on Tuesday.
Police said a case has been filed against 41 people, including 40 unknown persons, at Jarcha police station.
“We received information on Tuesday that a group of officials had reached village Chholas in Greater Noida to conduct a survey. A particular section of the community became afraid as they could not understand the purpose of the inquiry. An argument took place and the officials were held hostage for a while before police arrived. One person has been named. Arrests will take place soon,” said Rajesh Kumar Singh, DCP (3rd Gautam Budh Nagar).
According to police, the FIR has been filed under IPC sections 147 (rioting), 506 (intimidation), 353 (assault), 323 (causing hurt) and 342 (wrongful confinement).
Singh and his team were conducting an economic survey for a central scheme. According to a police officer, the villagers were apprehensive that the economic survey was actually “a part of the NRC exercise”.
Police said that one of the accused, Jawed, a resident of Delhi, was visiting the village when the survey took place.
He allegedly rallied 40-odd villagers to protest against the survey and fled when police arrived.
Police have prima facie ruled out assault but have gathered evidence suggesting that the surveyors were confined against their will. Police in Greater Noida are scanning nearby areas to arrest Jawed and the other accused.
A similar incident took place in Meerut a few days ago when a group of officials conducting a polio vaccination programme were assaulted after being mistaken for surveyors.
In Kerala, an ASHA and an anganwadi worker were attacked while carrying out census work.
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