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Explain NRC coordinator's social media posts, SC tells Assam


Hitesh Dev Sarma


New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday sought an explanation from the Assam government in connection with the allegation the state coordinator for NRC had made communal statements.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and comprising Justices B.R. Gavai and Surya Kant said that newly-appointed NRC coordinator Hitesh Dev Sarma should have not made these statements.

"You (the Assam government) have to explain this... He should not be saying all this," said the court after senior advocate Kapil Sibal cited the alleged statements made by Sarma.

The court, hearing the petition seeking removal of the newly-appointed state coordinator, also asked the Assam government to ensure that Sarma withdraws these objectionable Facebook posts.

The court also issued notices to the Centre and Assam governments and sought their reply within four weeks.

Sibal, who was representing an NGO, told the top court that Sarma has made several anti-immigration posts, allegedly against Bengali Muslims and Rohingyas and mainly published on social media platform Facebook prior to his appointment as the state coordinator.

The NGO has objected to the appointment of Sarma, who replaced Prateek Hajela after the Supreme Court's intervention.

Asked by the court, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Assam, said that the NRC exercise has been concluded, and as a result the new state coordinator does not have a role.

However, the apex court insisted on an explanation and asked the Assam government to ensure that the controversial posts are either explained or withdrawn.

Several petitions have been filed in connection with the NRC exercise in Assam.

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