TODAY -

Govt, DCO have no knowledge of authority that prepared NRC 1951
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, October 15 2015 : Based on replies to Right to Information (RTI) applications, a political analyst in Imphal has claimed that neither the State Government nor the Directorate of Census Operations (DCO), Manipur under Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs know under whose authority, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), 1951 was prepared.

Political analyst L Sharatchandra Sharma in a communication forwarded to the Principal Secretary (Home), Government of Manipur said that Section 2 (b) of the Protection of Manipur People Bill, 2015 has used National Register of Citizens, 1951 to define the people of Manipur.

"The existence of the National Register of Citizens, 1951 is crucial to the validity of the Protection of Manipur People Bill, 2015 and the Manipur Land revenue and Land Reforms (Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2015," Sharatchandra said.

He argued that this is why it is the responsibility of the State Government to verify whether the National Register of Citizens, 1951 really exists or not.

Sharatchandra said that if the National Register of Citizens, 1951 does not exist, the State Government is likely to be charged with "misleading the House" to get the two Bills passed by the Assembly.

He has requested the Principal Secretary (Home) to apprise the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister who also holds the charge of Home Department, of the matter immediately and take further action as per law in the interest of the public.

On September 15 last, Sharatchandra had filed an RTI application to the State Public Information Officer, Home Department, Government of Manipur.

In the application, he sought information on i) the name of the authority that prepared the National Register of Citizens, 1951 referred to in Section 2 (b) of the Protection of Manipur People Bill, 2015; ii) whether copy of the National Register of Citizens, 1951 is available with the Home Department or any other department of the Government of Manipur; iii) if the answer to i) is 'yes', to provide a photo copy of any page of the National Register of Citizens containing names of citizens and iv) if the answer is 'no', to provide information on action taken by Home Department to obtain a copy of the National Register of Citizens, 1951 .

The Joint Secretary (Home), Government of Manipur H Rupachandra Singh on September 24 forwarded the RTI application to the Deputy Director, Census Operations, Manipur.

In the forwarding letter, the Joint Secretary (Home) stated that the "Home Department does not maintain the records of census and the same is maintained by Directorate of Census operations, Manipur." He had asked the Deputy Director, Census Operations, Manipur to furnish the information "directly to the applicant" under intimation to Home Department, Government of Manipur.

The Directorate of Census Operation in its reply to the same RTI said the office is "not aware about the authority which prepared the National Register of Citizens, 1951." In the reply signed by the Assistant Director and CPIO A Indurekha Devi, the directorate said since it was not aware of the details, the information sought for "is not available" with the office.

A copy of the reply from the directorate has also been forwarded to the Joint Secretary (Home), Government of Manipur.


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