Congress objects NRC Coordinator’s directive for Handwritten NRC draft, demands digital print

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Guwahati, November 4: NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela has directed District Registrar of Citizen Registration from all districts of Assam to recruit persons with good handwriting skill for publication of the draft NRC on December 31. Meanwhile, Assam PCC has opposed the idea of a handwritten draft of the National Register of Citizens in this digital age.

“Since the entire process was carried out digitally from the very beginning, it is now frustrating to hear that ultimately a handwritten draft of the NRC will be published,” PCC vice-president Pradyut Bordoloi said on Monday.

“The first NRC, published in 1951, was handwritten but now we are equipped with digital technology. A handwritten NRC will create problems both in names and their spelling and this will also delay the process. Hence, we demand a digitally printed draft NRC,” Bordoloi added.

Earlier, the leader of the Opposition Debabrata Saikia had alleged that NRC authorities are trying to delay the entire process by opting for a handwritten draft.

“The decision taken by the authorities is highly questionable because digitalisation and computerisation has been done and the NRC data of relevant years and electoral rolls up to 1971 are stored,” Saikia was quoted on Sunday.

The Supreme Court, which is monitoring update of NRC 1951 in Assam, has set December 31, 2017 as the deadline for publication of the fresh draft. The central government through an intervention petition had sought extension of date from December 31 to July 31 citing in-completion of major part of verification work and apprehension of deterioration of law and order. On Nov 30, a division of the Supreme Court comprised of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton Nariman, rejected the plea of the central government.