The data of Assam’s National Register of Citizens is back online 10 days after it disappeared from the official website, The Indian Express reported on Saturday. The data has been accessible since Friday midnight, NRC State Coordinator Hitesh Dev Sarma told the newspaper.
Till Friday, users were being redirected to an invalid page when they tried to check their inclusion or exclusion status on the website. The data had disappeared on February 12. The following day, Sarma said a case had been filed against a former NRC project manager under the Official Secrets Act. He added that the woman had resigned on November 11, but did not share the password of the two official email IDs – email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Sarma claimed his office did not get any response from her despite sending multiple mails.
Technology company Wipro had been given the contract to maintain the NRC data online and provide cloud storage. The contract expired in October 2019, but the company continued to pay the data hosting service fee as a “goodwill gesture” until January 2020. After the data became inaccessible, the Congress said it was mysterious and a “malafide act”. However, the Union Home Ministry claimed the data was safe and cited “some technical issue in visibility on cloud”.
The final NRC list – an exercise to update the citizens’ database – in Assam was published on August 31. It excluded more than 19 lakh people, or around 6% of the state’s population. The government now wants to conduct the exercise across India to identify undocumented immigrants.