That the entire process of updating National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam has not been quite fool-proof has been borne out once again by the exposure of a major “security breach” in Morigaon district.
According to reports, a man declared a foreigner by Gauhati High Court was working in an NRC Seva Kendra (NSK) in the district until recently.
Khairul Islam, who was appointed a teacher by the State government, was declared a foreigner by a Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT) in February 2015. Thereafter, he appealed to the Gauhati High Court in September 2016 against the FT verdict.
Interestingly, even as such a serious case was pending against him, the Morigaon district administration appointed him at an NSK without verifying his credentials in December 2017.
Meanwhile, the high court upheld the tribunal’s verdict and declared him a foreigner in June this year. He was pronounced a foreigner by a bench comprising Justices Ujjal Bhuyan and Nelson Sailo.
Now, having been caught unaware, the administration swung into action and removed him from the NRC update process on 1st August.
However, even before the authorities could actually initiate any action against him, Islam went missing. Police sources said though a manhunt has been launched to nab him, he has managed to evade arrest thus far.
A senior security official, while admitting a “lapse” on the part of authorities concerned, however, told InsideNE that the entire system was to be blamed. He explained that the “lapse” occurred when he was appointed a teacher in 1996 without verifying his antecedents.
The question that is bound to be raised by many is how come the authorities took more than a month to remove Islam from the NRC update process – from the date he was declared a foreigner by the high court till his removal.
Further, why was he inducted into the NSK when a serious case was pending against him?
Copyright©2023 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today