Assam: After Serving for 30 Years, Retd Army Personnel Declared ‘Foreigner’; To Be Taken To Detention Camp
Mohammed Sanaullah's family has alleged that he was made to sign a blank document by NRC officials who then filled it in with incorrect details to frame him.
“After serving the Army for 30 years, this is how we are treated. We are hurt, we are upset. We will go to the (Guwahati) High Court now. Modi speaks about nationalism. Is this how retired Army men are treated?” retired Army personnel Ajmal Hoque told NewsCentral24x7. Hoque’s cousin Mohammed Sanaullah, who retired from the Indian Army as an honorary lieutenant on May 31, 2017, has been declared a “foreigner” by the Foreigners’ Tribunal. The Assam Police have detained him and will most likely take him to the detention camp on Wednesday, May 29.
Fifty-one-year-old Sanaullah is a resident of the Kolohikas village in Kamrup district, Assam. He had joined the Army on May 21, 1987, and participated in counter-insurgency operations in Doda district and near the Line of Control in Tangdhar sector of Kupwara district in Jammu and Kashmir from 2015 to 2017. From 2007-10, he was posted in Imphal and took part in counter-insurgency operations at Leimakhong, his family said. They assert that despite having all the documents, officials have conspired to declare Sanaullah a “foreigner”.
As per Hoque, Sanaullah was asked to sign a blank document by some government officials during the NRC (National Register of Citizens) draft verification procedure. The officials later filled in incorrect details on the paper to frame him, he alleged. “We have all the Army documents to prove that we are not lying. But, the officials are saying that he (Sanaullah) has mentioned 1978 as his year of joining the Army in a document which is not possible as he was 11 years old then,” Hoque said, adding, “They made him sign some document earlier and wrote these wrong details and now they are using these to declare him a ‘foreigner’.” He underlined that in a previous verification report, the police had even mentioned that Sanaullah was a “labourer” which is untrue.
“The officials have a fixed target. That’s why they declare people “foreigner” on an arbitrary basis. They get pressure from their top bosses,” Hoque added.
Raising the issue on Twitter, lawyer Aman Wadud pointed out that the order declaring Sanaullah a “foreigner” also mentioned that his name was not recorded in 1986 voters’ list when he was 20 years old. Wadud clarified that it was in 1989 that the Constitution (Sixty-first Amendment) Act, 1988 lowered the voting age from 21 years to 18 years.
The order by which Sanaullah has been declared a “foreigner” asks – WHY his name was not recorded in 1986 voters list as he was 20 years of age then.
Minimum age to vote was lowered from 21to18 by 61st Const. Amendment. President gave assent to the amendnt on March28,89
— Aman Wadud (@AmanWadud) May 29, 2019
Earlier, when Sanaullah’s name was ‘put on hold’ in the NRC draft, he was informed by the officials that a case was pending against him at the Foreigners’ Tribunal in Boko. “I tried to trace the case at the office of the superintendent of police (border), Kamrup Rural, the Foreigners’ Tribunal in Ulubari as well as in Boko, and finally found out from the Boko FT that the case cited concerns somebody named Md Samsul Hoque of Agchiya Village, Boko. I don’t even know who he is. It’s so misleading,” Sanaullah had told News 18 last year.
Sanaullah’s cousin Hoque’s name is also not in the draft NRC due to an alleged case in the Boko tribunal. Hoque, however, said that his issue was different as there was no record of any pending case against him in the tribunal and the officials had mentioned it “by mistake”. He is still hopeful of seeing his name and his cousin’s name on the NRC final list.