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Surveys halted over NRC panic

In Murshidabad too the administration has stopped several surveys because of fears over the CAA and the NRC

By Snehamoy Chakraborty and Alamgir Hossain in Bolpur(Birbhum) and Behrampore
  • Published 15.01.20, 1:19 AM
  • Updated 15.01.20, 1:19 AM
  • a min read
Jagadish Prasad Barui being besieged at Basanta on Monday Telegraph picture

The Birbhum administration has decided to halt all government surveys in Nalhati and adjoining areas after residents gheraoed a block development on Monday over suspicion that data were being collecting for a possible NRC.

“We are not ready to take any risk as people are panicking over any kind of survey or data collection. They suspect that any collection of information is connected with an NRC-like exercise. We have decided to stop visits of surveyors from the health department for the time being,” said Jagadish Prasad Barui, the block development officer of Nalhati I.

Barui was gheraoed by residents of Basanta village for over two hours when he went to the area following a protest against volunteers of a Delhi-based NGO collecting data to assess rural women’s awareness of the Internet and smartphones on Monday afternoon. The villagers had detained a girl, who was among the volunteers, accusing her of collecting data for the NRC.

Sources said health workers, mainly accredited social health activists, had been visiting houses to carry out a survey for the Bangla Matrittwa Prakalpa in which every pregnant woman gets Rs 5,000 for following immunisation guidelines.

In neighbouring Murshidabad, sources said, the administration has stopped several surveys because of fears over the CAA and the NRC.