On July 28, Assam government appointed Partha Pratim Mazumdar, an Indian Administrative Services officer, as the new coordinator of the National Register of Citizens.
He replaces Hitesh Dev Sarma, who retired on July 31 after a year-and-a-half as NRC coordinator. The NRC was meant to be a register of Indian citizens living in Assam, sifted from undocumented migrants in the state. But the process of updating the NRC ended on August 31, 2019, when a purportedly final list was published – over 19 lakh applicants were left out of the register.
Why then has Assam appointed two successive coordinators since the exercise was ostensibly completed?
Apart from bureaucratic factors, there seems to be one overwhelming reason: the state government does not seem to think Assam’s final NRC is really final.
“The status of the NRC is that the final NRC is not published yet,” said Hitesh Sarma, who spoke to Scroll.in on July 31, his final day in office.
He claimed there were several “anomalies” in the 2019 list and several pleas in the Supreme Court asking for another round of verification. In the past, the former coordinator has been pulled up by the Supreme Court for his controversial social media comments on migrant communities in Assam. Among other things, he had alleged that…