GUWAHATI, Nov 16 - At a time when the crucial stage of verification of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) updating is on, a directive issued by the State Revenue Department asking the departmental officials and employees to devote themselves to departmental works from November 15 has drawn flak from many quarters as an attempt at scuttling the verification process and ultimately preventing the preparation of an authenticated NRC.
The NRC verification requires the land revenue officials to play a significant and time-consuming role, and as such the exercise of taking them out of the verification process is unlikely to serve the interests of NRC updating.
Terming the developments as disturbing and fraught with irreversible adverse fallouts for the State�s indigenous populace who risk marginalisation in their homeland, the All Assam Students� Union (AASU) today said that the Revenue Department�s move amounted to a conspiracy to scuttle the NRC update process and that Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi must ensure that officials and employees engaged with the NRC updating process were not removed from the project at any cost.
�It is evident that there has been a conspiracy to derail the authentic NRC updating process so that illegal Bangladeshi citizens also get to enroll their names in the NRC. What else would explain the State Government�s haste in removing the revenue officials and employees from NRC updating � that too at the most crucial stage of verification?� AASU president Dipanka Nath and general secretary Lurin Jyoti Gogoi questioned.
The Revenue Department even warned its officials and employees of withholding their salary and perks if they failed to strictly adhere to the directive.
The AASU leaders said that the State Government�s act also amounted to overriding the Supreme Court�s directive on NRC update. The apex court which is monitoring the NRC updating exercise, had asked all Government officials to assist the NRC updating process as a matter of top priority.
The Revenue Department, it has been alleged, took recourse to some archaic British-day rules that required sending of revenue officials and staff on 'winter tours' for land record-related work. This had relevance in those days when districts were big and transport and communication abysmal. But today, this has no relevance at all and under no circumstances can this be made mandatory, critics of the move pointed out.