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Fri, 22 Nov 2019

Northeast Today

A Kargil War Veteran’s Homecoming

A Kargil War Veteran’s Homecoming
July 05
15:09 2019

|Ashif Shamim|


The incident

Mohammad Sanaullah as per records was born in July 30, 1967. He is a resident of Kalahikash village under the area of Boko in Kamrup district. He joined Indian Army in 1987 and by his immense hard work and disciplinary attitude he received Presidents’ certificate in 2014 for his promotion to a junior commissioned officer with effect from 2012. Sana Ullah had served the Indian Army for 30 years and retired as an honorary captain in 2017. After retirement he took up a job with Assam Police. M.Sana Ullah was expelled from the service and deprived from all the facilities as a government servant as the Foreigners Tribunal declared him a Foreigner national post 25th of March 1971. He was sent to a detention camp in Goalpara after he was detained from his work, post the declaration from Foreigners Tribunal got into effect. M.Sana Ullah and his family filed a petition against the Foreigners Tribunal challenging its declaration. His advocate Sahidul Islam said that the petition was filed on 31st May, Friday and added that the family has sufficient documents to prove his Indian identity. After sending him to detention camp the police have seized everything that was allowed to him during his duty including the uniform and other official kits. His advocate also said that according to M.Sana Ullah, Assam Police Border Organization, or the Border Police officer conspired this issue. Print media exposed the news to public as “Mohammad Sana Ullah, the Kargil war veteran who was declared a foreigner by a tribunal in Assam recently, has been discharged from his job as a Sub Inspector of the Assam Police’s Border Branch, it was announced on Saturday.” The next week this news went viral on social media protesting about giving justice to M.Sana Ullah and posts like”justice for Indian Son” was seen. A high court lawyer, A man, Wadud was hired by the family of Sanaullah to file a writ petition against the tribunal order and he was more likely to be released from detention the next day. After the division bench lawyer led by Justice Manojit Bhuyan said that the appeal from M.Sanaullah to the court against Foreigner tribunal order would continue. The order said: “We have heard the counsels for the parties and have also perused the materials as available. On such perusal and pending return of notice we are inclined to grant interim bail to the applicant to the extent that the superintendent of police (Border) Kamrup, shall take steps to release the applicant from his detention at Goalpara detention centre, subject to the applicant furnishing bail bond of Rs 20,000 with two local sureties of the like amount.”


Legal proccedings

Advocate Indira Jaising along with two other counsels appeared for Sanaullah. The two other counsels above are: Advocate Sahidul Islam and advocate Aman Wadud. The court also mentioned that after the release he would not move to the territorial jurisdiction of Kamrup and Kamrup (M) without the permission of superintendent of police of the border. The biometrics of the iris of both eyes, the fingertips of both hands and photograph of the petitioner shall be obtained before the release as directed by the court. The court has also issued notice to the National Register citizens (NRC) along with the state and central government, the investing officer of border police Chandramal Das who probed the case before filling an FIR in the Boko police station under Kamrup rural district and also to the Defence Ministry. By Chandramal Das FIR, Md. Sanaullah was suspected Foreigner on 2008. In order to hear the statement of Md. Sanaullah he needed a notice issued by Mr. Das which led him to approach the District Border Police. Interestingly, despite serving in the Army for about 30 years till 2017, and that he was also hired by the state Border Police just a month ago as an assistant sub-inspector after due checks.

While giving an interview to a local news channel, the investing officer Das spoke about Sanaullah that the person he met in 2008 and recorded statement was not the same person he saw on the news. On one of the dates mentioned in the IO’s report, Sanaullah was in Manipur as part of an anti-insurgency operation. There are three persons who signed a report as a witness whom the IO claimed to have met in 2008 have since filed an FIR against him at Boko police station, situated at 60Kms from the state capital Guwahati. Later he informed that these three witnesses claimed that their signatures were forged on the report as they never met him. They also said there was no other Sanaullah in Kalahikash village other than the retired subedar. After this case got reported by the media professionals, the army’s Directorate of Sainik Welfare offered legal help to the family. However, the family of Md.Sanaullah already hired Wadud and on June 7 senior Delhi-based advocate Indira Jaising appeared before the high court. Indira Jaising appeared for Sanaullah on Wadud’s request. She had traveled to Shillong for a personal visit and they requested her to argue for them. After a brilliant argument the court ordered Sanaullah’s immediate release. Wadud who is a Guwahati based advocate also mentioned in an optimistic way that this case is a major development in the fight for the rights of those wrongfully declared foreigners by tribunals across Assam. An inquiry of the border police submitted to Foreigners tribunal in 2008 claims that Sanaullah is 50 years old and he was a labour by profession. The report stated that he came to India by a secret route for a better living. Not only this, but his wife’s nationality was also suspected. Sanaullah as a retired subedar submitted the copy of his army discharge book that showed he has served in the Indian army for 30years i.e, 1987 to 2017. According to the documents submitted, when border police report was prepared in 2008 Ullah was then serving in a counter insurgency operation in Manipur. After getting bail from Guwahati High Court Ullah said, “I joined the Army in 1987. I served in the Army for 30 years, including twice in Jammu and Kashmir and once in Imphal. I thank the High Court for granting me bail.”

“I am an Indian and will remain an Indian. I am sure I will get justice,” he added.


End Note

Md. Ullah expressed that he got disheartened during his detention camp as during Eid celebration he couldn’t be with his family. He also expressed in anguish that he cried and consoled himself that he will definitely get justice and see his family one day. Now that he is with his family he expressed his happiness. On June 7th, 2019, a division bench of the Gauhati High Court acting on a petition filed by his family granted him interim bail subject to certain conditions. The next date of hearing of the case has been scheduled for two months later.



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(The author is currently pursuing his MA in Mass Communication. He is interested in Quizzing, Debating Politics, Content Writing, Graphic design and a frequent contributor in Quora.)


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