Mohammad Sanaullah, the retired Indian Army junior commissioned officer (JCO) who couldn’t make it to the final NRC list since his appeal against the Foreigners’ Tribunal’s (FT) order was pending in Gauhati High Court, says he will wait for the High Court to decide his appeal before considering his next move. He added that he had hoped for “some last minute change” making his inclusion in the NRC possible, but that didn’t happen.
“I was called to the NRC sewa kendra in Chaygaon last week and asked to provide copies of the FT opinion, which declared me as foreigner, and my bail order from detention camp. Due to that I was hopeful that there might be some last minute change and my name would get included in the Final NRC. But that didn’t happen. Along with my name, names of my daughters, Shahnaz Akhtar and Hilmina Akhtar, and my son, Saeed Akhtar are also missing from the final list. We will wait for disposal of my appeal in High Court before taking any other recourse,” Sanaullah said.
Sanuallah, who was declared a “foreigner” by a Foreigners’ Tribunal and sent to a detention camp had no chance, along with his children, of making it to the final list since NRC provisions don’t allow for inclusion of those declared foreigners by FTs.
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 had 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.