Patriotic People’s Front Assam (PPFA), while expressing concern over the disturbing news related to updation process of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam demands that the concerned authorities should pay the outstanding amount of money to around six thousand data entry operators (DEO) as early as possible. The forum of nationalist citizens also argues that for anybody’s greed those DEOs must not be deprived of their legal dues.
The forum strongly believes that the draft Assam NRC should be reverified as the immediate past NRC State coordinator Hitesh Devsarma publicly stated that it consists of millions of illegal citizens. Moreover, in two separate official complaints, Devsarma alleged that a faulty software was used in the process and a huge financial scam (to the tune of Rupees 155 crore) had taken place, which is indicated in the account general’s interim report.
The NRC authority spent a sum of Rs 1600 crore in the four-year long process, where a large number of temporary workers (along with nearly 50,000 government employees) were also engaged as DEOs. The system integrator (Wipro Limited) had the responsibility to supply DEOs, but it allegedly engaged sub-contractors, where some media persons were also involved. Wipro was paid around Rs 14,500 (to 17,500) per month per DEO, but it provided only Rs 5,500 (to 9,100) accordingly.
“It is unfortunate that the DEOs were denied even the least amount as per our country’s basic minimum wage. The DEOs, some of whom approached the State labour commissioner, and many came to the street demanding their dues, are still deprived of their full payments (which may be Rs 100 crore in total),” said a PPFA statement adding that there is speculation about the involvement of three Guwahati-based television journalists in the financial irregularities.