No Report Sought from Assam Police about Threat to NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela: Top Cop
Guwahati: Assam police was not asked to submit any report about perception of any threat to NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela whose transfer the Supreme Court ordered “forthwith” on Friday, a top Assam police official said.
The official also said the state police was not aware of any threat to Hajela, an Assam-Meghalaya cadre IAS officer of the 1995 batch who oversaw the hugely contentious exercise of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which validates Indian citizenship of the residents of the north-eastern state.
“Reports about threat perception to Hajela have not been sought from us. There have been, however, criticism against Hajela in the social media. Various organisations in Assam are vocal on the NRC with many speaking against the NRC and the state coordinator,” IG (Special Branch) Hiren Nath told PTI.
Hajela was appointed the NRC coordinator by the top court to oversee the mammoth and sensitive exercise. A special bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and justices S A Bobde and R F Nariman ordered the inter-cadre transfer of Hajela on deputation to his native state Madhya Pradesh for maximum possible period.
When Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, sought to know the reason behind the order, Gogoi tersely asked, “Can any order be passed without a cause or reason?”
Since the bench chose not to specify the reason for the abrupt transfer of the officer, speculation was rife that it could be on account of possible threat to him.
The final NRC list was released on August 31 this year and over 19 lakh of more than 3.30 crore applicants were left out of it.
Hajela was the butt of criticism, with both the Centre and Assam’s BJP government claiming a large number of genuine Indian citizens were left out and illegal Bangladeshi immigrants included in the list.