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Life threat? SC transfers NRC coordinator to MP for maximum possible period

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New Delhi, Oct 18: The Supreme Court has directed the government to send Assam NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela on on inter-cadre deputation to Madhya Pradesh. The court directed the union government and the Assam government to send Hajela to Madhya Pradesh for the maximum period possible.

Hajela played a key role in carrying out the orders of the Supreme Court in preparing both the draft and final NRC for Assam. The court ordered that the government notify the transfer within 7 days.

NRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela

Attorney General K K Venugopal asked the Bench if there was any reason or cause for sending Hajela on deputation. The Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi said, "can any order be passed without a cause or reason." However the CJI did not mention the cause of reason.

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There are however speculations that he may be received a life threat.

The AG then asked of the final NRC publication is to be done on October 31. The court said that the matter will come up for further hearing on issues relating to the NRC on November 26. The CJI retires on November 17.

It may be recalled that on September 5, two FIRs were lodged against Assam Coordinator of National Register of Citizens (NRC), Prateek Hajela, for "discrepancies" in the final updated list.

A lawyer and indigenous Muslim students organisation -- All Assam Goriya-Moriya Yuva Chatra Parishad (AAGMYCP) -- filed separate FIRs against Hajela in Dibrugarh and Guwahati, they said.

Chandan Mazumdar, whose name does not figure in the final NRC list, filed the complaint against Hajela at Dibrugarh police station on Wednesday, police said.

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Mazumdar alleged that he had submitted all documents, but his name was not included in the updated NRC due to "inefficiency and criminal conspiracy of employees".

The FIR held Hajela responsible for "discrepancies", as he was tasked with supervising the NRC updation exercise in Assam.

Another complaint was lodged against the state coordinator at Guwahati's Latasil police station on Tuesday by the AAGMYCP, claiming "deliberate" anomalies in the final list.

"The names of many indigenous people were excluded from the list, and it was done deliberately by the NRC state coordinator," the FIR filed by the students organisation said.

The police, however, is yet to register a case based on the second FIR.

Hajela was not available for comments, as he has been barred by the Supreme Court from speaking to the media.

A third complaint was also filed by NGO Assam Public Works (APW) at Guwahati's Geetanagar police station against three declared foreigners, whose names figured in the final NRC, and against the NRC authorities of Morigaon, who were allegedly responsible for including their names.

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The APW was the original petitioner in the Supreme Court, which led to the updation of the NRC six years ago.

A total of 3,30,27,661 people had applied to be included in the NRC. Of them, 3,11,21,004 have been included in the document and 19,06,657 excluded, the NRC State Coordinator's office had said on Saturday.

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