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Tuesday, August 04, 2020

As Assam NRC data goes offline, Opposition doubtful of ‘malafide act’

It has been found that the data has been unavailable on the website for the last couple of days, causing panic amongst the public, especially amongst those who have been excluded from the NRC as rejection certificates remain pending.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: February 11, 2020 10:25:06 pm
When contacted, NRC State Coordinator Hitesh Dev Sarma told PTI that the data have been made offline, but refuted the allegation of any ‘malafide’ intent in it.

Even as the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union government faces countrywide protests against the amended Citizenship Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), PTI reported Tuesday that the data on the official website of the NRC website has been made unavailable.

PTI reported that due to the non-renewal of a contract with the IT firm Wipro, the NRC data has gone offline, prompting the Opposition Congress to doubt it as a ‘malafide act’.

When contacted, NRC State Coordinator Hitesh Dev Sarma told PTI that the data has been made offline, but refuted the allegation of any “malafide” intent in it.

“The cloud service for the huge set of data was provided by Wipro and their contract was till October 19 last year. However, this was not renewed by the earlier Coordinator. So, the data got offline from December 15 after it was suspended by Wipro. I assumed charge on December 24,” Sarma was quoted as saying by PTI.

The details of both, the exclusion and inclusion of the names of Indian citizens were uploaded on the government website http://www.nrcassam.nic.in following the publishing of the final draft on August 31, 2019.

It has been found that the data has been unavailable on the website for the last couple of days, causing panic amongst the public, especially amongst those who have been excluded from the NRC as rejection certificates remain pending.

The NRC State Coordinator informed that the state coordination committee had decided to do necessary formalities in its meeting on January 30 and wrote to Wipro during the first week of February.

“Once Wipro makes the data live, it will be available for the public. We hope that people will be able to access it in the next 2-3 days,” Sarma was quoted as saying.

Reacting to the development, Leader of the Opposition in Assam Assembly Debabrata Saikia reportedly wrote to the Registrar General of India and requested him to look into the matter urgently.

“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 malafide act,” he was quoted as saying.

“Indeed, the deletion of data from the NRC website at a time when the appeals process is yet is start, 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 reportedly wrote in the letter.

(With inputs from PTI)

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