Muslim villages boycott Economic Survey, taking it for CAA

The team that went to survey the Muslim-dominated village in Sitarganj, Udham Singh Nagar, Uttarakhand, last week faced stiff resistance

In a development showing the ridiculous extent to which the opposition propaganda against the amended citizenship law (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR) has worked to mislead gullible citizens, the Directorate of Economics and Statistics is finding it a Herculean task to carry out its annual work in villages with high Muslim population. This government department conducts an economic survey every five years. As it set about doing its work this year after 2015, the survey teams are facing obstacles, with people, mostly Muslim, refusing to answer questions, believing them to be part of the NRC survey.

In some villages, some local busybodies are campaigning to confuse people by telling them the government workers have arrived for NRC data collection! The team that went to survey the Muslim-dominated village in Sitarganj last week had to face stiff resistance.

These teams take feedback of the utility of government schemes, for which they need to know the family status, means of employment and housing of every citizen surveyed. “These questions are coming across to Muslims as an NRC exercise,” an officer in the directorate said.

Whereas some villages have been supportive in data sharing, at other places, people are confused. On the spot, block-level coordinators inform the villagers about the economic survey. Yet, the teams face opposition in many places.

District Economics and Statistics officer Lalitchandra Arya said, after conducting a survey in Sitarganj last week, the team had informed him of the situation in some Muslim-dominated villages where people are refusing to share information about the family.

The officer said that this was an economic survey for which he will soon visit those villages to clear their confusion. “People must be made aware of this survey,” the officer said.

Arya, the officer of Udham Singh Nagar of Uttarakhand, told you that the work of economic survey is going smoothly in other blocks otherwise. “In some places, especially in Muslim-dominated villages, we are encountering practical problems. We are making efforts to resolve the doubts by sending along with the team a group of experts. I will myself will go to the spot and make people aware of the survey,” the officer said.

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