22 February 2020 06:47 PM

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ABDUL GANI | 12 FEBRUARY, 2020

Rs 1600 Crores Later, NRC Data Disappears from Website

“Technical” says BJP


GUWAHATI: After spending around Rs 1600 crore and more than five years on the much talked National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, all valuable data went off line from the NRC official website.

The reason -- non-renewal of contract with IT firm Wipro that was looking after the technical side of the process.

The complete detail of exclusion and inclusion of bonafide Indian citizens in the Assam NRC was uploaded on its official website www.nrcassam.nic.in after the final list was published on August 31, 2019.

The present NRC state co-ordinator Hitesh Dev Sarma said that the data was offline from December 15, 2019.

"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 co-coordinator (Prateek Hajela). So, the data got offline from December 15 after it was suspended by Wipro. I assumed charge on December 24," NRC state co-ordinator Hitesh Dev Sarma was quoted as saying by PTI.

Sarma said that it should be available in the next two to three days. “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 two to three days," Sarma further said.

The opposition Congress party has termed it ‘malafide act’. Leader of Opposition in the state Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia, in separate letters to the Registrar General of India (RGI) and the state coordinator, raised the matter, seeking an explanation for it.

In the letters, Saikia claimed that 'all online data pertaining to the National Register of Citizens (NRC) has suddenly disappeared from the NRC website'.

"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,” Saikia said.

Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi alleged that it’s done by the BJP deliberately to derail the ongoing process.

“The loss of NRC data in Assam is deliberate by the BJP. How can an Rs 1600 project be so unprofessional and not renew their membership of a cloud platform? This is to derail the current NRC exercise in Assam and demand a new one which will be independent of the Supreme Court,” said Gogoi.

The Union Home Ministry, however, on Wednesday said the NRC data is safe even though some technical issues were visible and that will be resolved soon. "The NRC data is safe. Some technical issues are in visibility on cloud. These are being resolved soon," a home ministry spokesperson said.

The final NRC list had left out 19 lakh names out of 3.29 crore people in Assam. These people whose names were left out would need to appeal to the Foreigners Tribunals to get cleared. And the process was yet to start.

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