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Guwahati, November 9, 2019:

Assam government on Saturday appointed ACS Hitesh Dev Sarma as the new State Coordinator of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam.

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Hitesh Dev Sarma is currently posted as the Secretary to the government of Assam in the Urban Development Department. Earlier, he was associated with the beginning process of NRC.

Sarma’s appointment comes amid reports that bureaucrats were reluctant to take up the position after the former coordinator, Prateek Hajela’s unceremonious exit.

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It may be mentioned here that Supreme Court on October 18 ordered the inter-cadre transfer of Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) coordinator Prateek Hajela to Madhya Pradesh. The order was passed by a bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SA Bobde and Rohinton Nariman. The transfer of Hajela raised a hue-and-cry across Assam, as many of the original petitioners of the NRC were planning to raise the issue up with the Supreme Court.

One of the orginal petitions, Abhijit Sharma of the Assam Public Works (APW), had even urged the Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to withhold Hajela’s passport so that he could not leave the country.

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Hajela is a 1995 batch IAS officer of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre who was appointed as the State Coordinator for the historic drafting of NRC and has now been transferred to Madhya Pradesh.

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