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NPR through bank KYC: Circumventing adverse state govts?

Editorials

In India

Amid protests across the country by leftists and Muslims against the amended citizenship law (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC), the union government has started collecting information for the National Population Register (NPR) necessary for the census slated for 2021. The union government is using public sector banks for the purpose.

One such incident has come to light in Andhra Pradesh where Central Bank of India has directed its customers to submit NPR information for the bank’s KYC. Otherwise, the state-owned bank has warned, a defaulting customer’s account will be frozen.

The ad in Eenadu

The Central Bank of India got this advertisement published in the Telugu newspaper Eenadu. The advertisement was published in the Krishna district edition of the newspaper on 11 January.

It may be noted that Eenadu is the most widely circulated regional language newspaper in the country.

The notice of the Central Bank of India, published in the newspaper, states, “Customers will have to submit all information, including NPR, on or before the coming 31 January. Customers who do not do so will have their accounts frozen. As a result, no transactions can be made from those accounts.”

Despite all the assurances of the Centre, the adversaries of the Narendra Modi government are leaving no stone unturned to mislead people about the NPR, which they had unassumingly, without hesitation and resistance participated in once every decade before the census. They are propagating the notion that the NPR will be the first step towards the nationwide NRC promised by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and several other top-ranking leaders of the BJP.

In states where the BJP’s organisation is weak, people see the NPR as part of the list of future citizens. That creates panic among a section of ordinary citizens. This is the fear of being displaced. All NPR related work in West Bengal and Kerala has been stopped indefinitely.

News agency IANS had cited Ministry of Home Affairs sources in December 2019 to report that the union government had decided that the applications for CAA will be online to minimise the role of the district collector. The Foreigner Regional Registration Offices (FRROs), in some cases, are under the centre’s jurisdiction, but state resources will be utilised if the need arose, said the report.

However, there has been no report claiming that the NPR will be conducted online or through banks. A source in the Central Bank of India said the bank had not received any instruction from the government or Reserve bank of India to ask for NPR information from its customers.

Here are two reports Sirf News had published recently to serve the people accurate information on the NPR:

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