Tezpur/Guwahati, July 30: The discovery of a primary health centre employee in Sonitpur district allegedly making and selling forged birth certificates has thrown light on a racket to illegally enter names in the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Bipul Paul, a doctor at the health centre in Biswanath Chariali, told The Telegraph today that even though Yunush Ali had no authority to issue a birth certificate, he used to distribute duplicate application forms to new parents. After receiving the applications, Ali used to forge the signature of the doctor assigned to issue the document for approval and finally issue the certificates, he added.
"Ali had earned a good amount of money in the last two months by issuing such fake birth certificates to many underprivileged and illiterate people. Many of them had approached him for the birth certificates since the document is required to include their names in the NRC. The fraud was detected only when one such fake certificate reached me last night," Paul said.
He said though Ali confessed to his guilt, he later absconded after Paul lodged an FIR with Biswanath Chariali police.
Birth certificates are one of the main supporting documents that can be used to include one's name in the NRC, which is being updated in Assam. According to the existing modalities, the NRC is being updated based on the 1951 NRC, electoral rolls up to the midnight of March 24, 1971, and in their absence, the list of admissible documents issued upto March 24, 1971.
Biswanath Chariali superintendent of police Manabendra Dev Ray they have already registered a case and started a hunt to apprehend Ali. He said the police this evening conducted a raid at his residence in Biswanath Ghat and recovered 10 fake birth certificates.
"We have detained Ali's wife for questioning," Ray said.
Sonitpur joint director of health services Mehtab Hussain Saikia said Ali may have taken advantage of the ongoing NRC update and charged money to issue birth certificates. State coordinator of NRC in Guwahati Prateek Hajela, while admitting that Ali's case might be a tip of the iceberg to include citizens' names in the NRC fraudulently, said deputy commissioners have already been instructed to launch a crackdown on such corrupt practices.
The authenticity of all documents, including the link certificates (birth certificate is one of them) adduced by the applicants, will be duly verified by the verification teams and members of the public/media will be free to point out these issues during field verification in their respective areas so that these do not escape scrutiny by the teams.
Bharat Chandra Narah, press adviser to chief minister Tarun Gogoi, said the government would take action against such corrupt practices.
- Parents or guardians of a newborn must apply for birth certificate within 15 days from day of birth
- Municipal bodies including Guwahati Municipal
- Corporation and primary health centres issue the certificate on basis of proof of date and place of birth
- In case one fails to meet the 15-day deadline, one has to approach the court for an affidavit on
- the cause of the delay
- Birth certificate is one of the admissible documents in the absence of legacy data for inclusion in the NRC
- Such certificate can be used as link to prove his/her relationship with someone with legacy data
- The NRC authority said a system would be put in place to detect any duplicate or fraud documents