Assam NRC row: Forged documents, bogus linkages helped around million slip past arduous checks, make it to list

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He claimed that he had left home at an early age and did not know where his parents were, compelling him to assume a false identity for the NRC. When asked if he knew that he was committing an offence, he said, “Yes, I know that. But I could not apply with the name ‘Fakhruddin’. After asking many people, I found my father’s address. I have searched and gathered the genuine linkage and I have told Sir (at Seva Kendra ) on the day of hearing.”
Further details about the case were difficult to obtain due to a squeeze on information about the exercise after the Supreme Court reprimanded coordinator Prateek Hajela and registrar general Sailesh for frequently speaking to the media. The video was accessed by this correspondent last month from an employee at an NRC Seva Kendra who was able to record the episode on his cell phone.
Fakhruddin is just one among the many cases detected and deleted from the list. Before the final draft was published on 30 July, officials at the Secretariat had offered estimates varying between 9 lakh and 11 lakh applicants who had either submitted forged papers or sought to establish bogus linkages in the family tree verification.
According to informed sources, many fake applicants were assisted by a network of agents, some of whom had reportedly established a line with officials entrusted with the verification process. While some of these cases were identified, some were lucky to have passed through the arduous checks in the exercise.
Many cases have been highlighted by the media, and among them is a person from Sivasagar who was declared a foreigner by the Foreigners’ Tribunal and the Gauhati High Court, but who succeeded in enlisting his name in the NRC. Another case is from Morigaon, where the deputy commissioner Hemen Das went on record to say that 200 persons from 39 families — either declared foreigners or whose cases were pending in the Foreigners’ Tribunals’ — were in the NRC draft.
Some officials believe that there could be a large chunk of people who never applied for the NRC, either due to a fear of being identified or because they never had the money to pay agents for documents like PAN or voter ID cards.