The government of Assam on Saturday appointed an Assam Civil Service (ACS) officer to officiate as the NRC state coordinator until Hitesh Dev Sarma, the officer appointed as Prateek Hajela’s successor, returns from a month-long leave, officials said.
Babulal Sarma, an ACS officer of 1989 batch currently posted as a secretary in the home and political department of the government of Assam, will hold office as state coordinator so that necessary official and administrative processes are not hampered by the absence of the head of the NRC office in the state.
“It is a temporary arrangement,” a top state government official told The Sunday Express.
The office of the state coordinator of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) has been vacant since Hajela, the former officer, was released by the state government on November 11 following a Supreme Court order, and the new appointee Hitesh Dev Sarma went on a month-long leave for his son’s marriage.
With the office remaining empty, there was uncertainty regarding issuance of rejection slip to the 19 lakh people excluded from the final NRC. Only with the rejection order, specifying the cause of rejection, can the excluded people file appeals against their exclusion at the state’s Foreigners’ Tribunals.