The police in western Assam’s Dhubri town have detained two special verification officers assigned the job of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) for demanding ‘service charge’ from people summoned to submit documents establishing their citizenship.The detention on Sunday evening follows reports of people offering bribes, submitting forged documents or borrowing legacy data of genuine citizens to be included in the second NRC draft that the Supreme Court wants updated by May.First draftThe first draft, recognising 1.9 crore of the 3.29 applicants who can prove they have been living in Assam before March 24, 1971, was published at the stroke of midnight on December 31.“Special verification officer Fardous Zaman, sectional assistant in PWD Roads, and his deputy Swapan Dutta, a gram panchayat secretary, were detained after a complaint that they had demanded ₹300 to get the documentation of a couple from Tamarhat done on April 19,” said Longnit Terang, Dhubri Superintendent of Police.The duo had allegedly demanded ₹100 from the couple but later increased it to ₹300. The resultant delay forced the couple to stay at the house of a relative who works at the Dhubri Deputy Commissioner’s office. His complaint to the district’s administrative head led to Zaman and Dutta’s detention.“Though the duo are accused of seeking gratification money in NSK2 (NRC Seva Kendra number 2, at the office of inspector of schools, Dhubri), the case is not of manipulation of documents,” Mr. Terang said.Officials handling the NRC exercise did not rule out the possibility of similar cases across the 1,093 verification centres in Assam.Last week, the police in Darrang district’s Sipajhar arrested two people of suspected nationality – San Khan and Nayan Khan – for offering to bribe ₹20,000 to the NRC officials for including their names in the second draft.Officials said at least half a dozen such cases have been reported from central Assam’s Nagaon and Morigaon districts with some offering up to ₹2 lakh to get their names included in the NRC.By the first week of April, the NRC authorities identified more than 4,000 people who submitted forged papers despite having been declared foreigners by 100 Foreigners’ Tribunals across the State. Apart from government employees, the probe revealed several village heads were issuing fake domicile certificates.One such village head, Moijan Ali of Soulmari village in Biswanath district, had been charging ₹500 for each fake document.The NRC authorities received a setback earlier this month when Ali Ahmed, who was declared a foreigner in 2011, filed a review petition in the Gauhati High Court saying he cannot be an illegal immigrant as his name figured in the first draft of the updated NRC. The NRC authorities blamed it on faulty data collection by the State’s border police.Borrowed legacy dataOfficials said there have been several cases of people using legacy data of others to establish their family trees. In Nagaon district, for instance, a person named Fakaruddin, son of Umed Ali, tried to pass off as Suresh Das by using one Robi Das’s legacy data. Verification officials caught Fakaruddin’s bluff when Robi Das – both were called to the NSK concerned – could not recognise him.In another case reported from Barpeta district, one Abdul Salam was caught trying to pass his second wife Kadbanu as his first wife Kanchan Nessa, who died a few years ago. The second wife could not submit papers to establish her citizenship, officials said.Meanwhile, 85 companies of Central armed forces have been deployed in Assam apprehending trouble in certain parts during the process. More than half of these companies were provided before the publication of the first draft on December 31.
The Committee of Administrators (CoA) and the BCCI have not prepared any note seeking a ban on Pakistan at the upcoming World Cup and even if such a move is made, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is bound to reject it.The Pulwama terror attack, that claimed the lives of over 40 CRPF personnel, has escalated the diplomatic tensions between India and Pakistan, the reverberations of which are also being felt in the sporting arena.Already, Pakistani shooters couldn’t make the World Cup in Delhi, starting Saturday, after not getting visas. And there is a demand for India to boycott its June 16 World Cup clash against the neighbours and the matter is likely to come up on the sidelines of the ICC meetings between February 27 to March 2 in Dubai.”There is absolutely no constitutional or contractual way this could happen. The ICC constitution allows members the right to participate in ICC events as long as they’ve qualified,” a BCCI official told PTI.Amid the spiralling speculation, the CoA, comprising Chairman Vinod Rai and former women’s captain Diana Edulji, will be meeting in Delhi on Friday to discuss the issue of multiple bodies claiming representation of Uttarakhand. But the Pakistan conundrum is likely to cast a shadow on what was to be a routine meet.”We will discuss all possible options tomorrow and do what is best for the country,” Edulji told PTI.A top BCCI source said even if a note is sent and the ICC agrees to put it out in front of member boards for a vote, India is unlikely to find any support from other nations.advertisement”In case India writes to ICC for Pakistan’s removal, then we have to build consensus first to move a resolution at it’s Annual Board Meeting in April. We no longer enjoy majority in the ICC board right now. If this goes for floor test we are certain to lose,” he said.”Not only that, serious doubts will emerge on our chances to host 2021 Champions Trophy and 2023 World Cup,” he added.The call to boycott Pakistan has been made by some prominent voices such as senior off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and former captain and Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) President Sourav Ganguly.Among the current players, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and pacer Mohammed Shami have called for decisive action to deal with terror strikes carried out by Pakistan-based terror groups.Also Read | Diana Edulji denies differences with Vinod Rai on ousting Pakistan from Cricket World CupAlso Read | India can try and throw Pakistan out of World Cup but it won’t happen: Sunil GavaskarAlso Read | Sunil Gavaskar to Imran Khan: You are my friend. Where is Naya Pakistan? read more
Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Plaintiffs (left to right) Diana Bentley, Hannah Miller, Kristin Booth and Patricia Fagan attend a press conference after filing lawsuits alleging sexual harassment from Souplpepper Theatre Company director Albert Schultz. (Christopher Katsarov/Canadian Press) “These women, who were all in their early 20s when they met [Schultz], were taught from day one to understand that in order to succeed, not just at Soulpepper but in Canadian theatre more broadly, they would have to suffer in silence,” Wood told reporters.The women were made to believe that Schultz was “above reproach” and “there was no point in speaking out,” said Wood. “If they did, they risked their careers at Soulpepper, and possibly beyond.”Booth said it was “very difficult” for her to come forward. Advertisement Facebook Advertisement Login/Register With: Four actresses who have filed civil lawsuits against the Soulpepper Theatre Company and artistic director Albert Schultz were made to feel they had to “suffer in silence” to succeed, one of their lawyers said during a morning news conference Thursday.Patricia Fagan, Hannah Miller, Kristin Booth and Diana Bentley have alleged in separate lawsuits against Schultz and the company that they experienced unwanted groping, harassment and sexual remarks in the workplace from 2000 to 2013. None of the allegations have been proven in court, and Schultz issued a statement Wednesday saying he plans to defend himself against them.The four women sat side by side at Thursday’s news conference as lawyer Alexi Wood spoke. read more