Other States

Kargil war veteran who was declared foreigner gets bail

Mohammad Sanaullah, the retired Army Junior Commissioned Officer.  

The Gauhati High Court on Friday granted interim bail to ex-serviceman Mohammed Sanaullah, who was sent to a detention camp after a tribunal declared him a foreigner on May 23.


A team of lawyers, led by Indira Jaising and Hafiz Rashid Ahmed Choudhury, appearing for the Kargil war veteran, moved the application for his release.

After hearing the argument, a Division Bench of Justices Manojit Bhuyan and Prasanta Kumar Deka ordered the release of the 52-year-old former Junior Commissioned Officer on his furnishing a bail bond of ₹20,000 with “two local sureties of a like amount.”

The court also asked Mr. Sanaullah to take steps to serve notice by registered post on Chandramal Das, former investigating officer of the Assam Police’s border wing, whose report in 2008 made the ex-serviceman a “foreigner.”

The judges also directed the ex-serviceman not to move out of the territorial jurisdiction of Kamrup and Kamrup (Metro) districts without the approval of the Superintendent of Police (Border), Kamrup.

Guwahati, where he resides, falls under Kamrup (Metro).

The court also directed the authorities to obtain Mr. Sanaullah’s biometrics and fingerprints before releasing him on interim bail. “In all likelihood, he will be released from the detention centre tomorrow [Saturday],” Mr. Choudhury told The Hindu.

The retired soldier was taken to Goalpara Central Jail, one of the six prisons that serve as detention centres for declared foreigners.

There are more than 1,000 such foreigners in these camps.

“We are grateful to God that he is coming home, although the fight to prove his citizenship is far from over,” Samina Begum, the ex-serviceman's wife said.

Mr. Sanaullah had joined the Army in 1987 and retired in August 2017 after 30 years of service. The following year, he was appointed as a sub-inspector of the Assam Police's border wing that is tasked with detecting, detaining and deporting foreigners or illegal migrants.

The border wing dismissed him from service on May 29.

The border police had made a case against Mr. Sanaullah, from a village near Boko about 60 km west of Guwahati, in 2008. The case was referred to a Foreigners’ Tribunal, which found discrepancies in his documents and declared him a foreigner.

On Thursday, Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi had written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah demanding justice for the ex-serviceman.

“The bail is a temporary relief and I hope the Ministry of Home Affairs shows zero tolerance in such sensitive matters by reviewing the role of the enlisted government and police officials in this incident,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 12:55:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/assam-ex-serviceman-declared-foreigner-gets-bail/article27672651.ece

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