Mohammad Sanaullah, the retired Indian Army junior commissioned officer (JCO) who had hit headlines earlier this year after he was declared a foreigner by a Foreigners’ Tribunal and sent to detention camp, couldn’t make it to NRC final list as his appeal against the FT order is pending in Gauhati High Court. Neither him nor his children had any chance of getting included in the final list since as per NRC provisions, names of those who have been declared foreigners by FTs and names of their children can’t get included in the NRC final list.
Assam NRC list was released on Saturday morning leaving out about 1.9 million people from the register. These people will now need to file appeals at foreigners’ tribunals to prove their citizenship.
Mohammad Sanaullah, who fought in Kargil war and also won a president’s medal, was declared a foreigner by the Foreigners Tribunal, Kamrup, following a case registered in 2008 after his name was listed as a “D” (doubtful) voter. He was sent to a detention camp in the month of May before he was granted bail by the Gauhati High Court. The High Court, however, didn’t quash the earlier order of the Foreigners’ Tribunal and said that hearings on his petition will continue.
A retired Subedar with the Indian Army, Sanaullah, 52, joined the force in 1987. His service discharge book notes two stints in Jammu & Kashmir and one in Manipur in the “war service showing the theatre of operation” column.
Assam government official Chandramal Das had prepared an inquiry report that termed Sanaullah a “foreigner”. On the basis of his report, Sanaullah was served a notice in 2008 to prove his citizenship. He appeared before the tribunal in 2018 and was declared a foreigner on May 23, and sent to a detention centre in Goalpara.
But after news of Sanaullah’s detention spread, Das, who has since retired, told news channels that the person whom he had described as a “labourer” born in Bangladesh in his report was not the same person who had been sent to the detention camp.
After the verdict of the tribunal, Sanaullah, a resident of Kolohikash village in Kamrup district, was lodged in a detention camp in Goalpara.
Supreme Court lawyer Indira Jaising, who successfully fought in court for Sanaullah’s release from detention claimed that his school-leaving certificate, passport and discharge papers from the army clearly showed him as an Indian by birth.
Sanaullah’s family has challenged the Foreigners Tribunal’s decision in the Gauhati High Court.