NRC in Assam: Key 'witnesses' against ex-armyman Mohammad Sanaullah claim they were never called by police

Sanaullah, 52, has been languishing in Goalpara detention camp. The Indian Army’s Directorate of Sainik Welfare has offered to provide legal assistance to him.

Syeda Ambia Zahan June 03, 2019 18:12:45 IST
NRC in Assam: Key 'witnesses' against ex-armyman Mohammad Sanaullah claim they were never called by police
  • Three people, who were mentioned as key witnesses against Mohammad Sanaullah by the police, have filed three separate cases against the investigation officer Chandramal Das.

  • The 'witnesses' have claimed that neither were they called by the police to give any statement nor had they gone to the police in connection with the case ever.

  • However, the investigation officer claimed that the retired armyman was mistaken for another person who shares the same name.

In yet another development in the controversial case of Mohammad Sanaullah — an ex-army man who has been declared a “foreigner” and sent to a detention camp in Assam — three people, who were mentioned as key witnesses against him by the police, have filed three separate cases against the investigation officer Chandramal Das.

Amjad Ali Ahmed , Kuran Ali and Sahaban Ali — residents of Boko in Kamrup district — are mentioned as the key witnesses against Mohammad Sanaullah’s Indian citizenship in the case no- 1978/2016 registered at Foreigners' Tribunal-2. Now, the “witnesses” have claimed that neither were they called by the police to give any statement nor had they gone to the police in connection with the case ever.

NRC in Assam Key witnesses against exarmyman Mohammad Sanaullah claim they were never called by police

Mohammad Sanaullah, an ex-armyman who has been declared as a 'foreigner'. News18

The First Information Report, registered at the Boko Police Station in Kamrup district reads, “In the FT case no- 1978/16, I have been mentioned as a witness. The investigation officer Chandramal Das has used my name as the witness and also have added a statement in my name without my knowledge and consent. Not only this, he has forged my signature below the statement. So, I am requesting you to take necessary action against the accused.”

Retired Subedar Mohammad Sanaullah was declared a foreigner on 23 May, based on a case registered against him at the same police station in the year 2008. The case was later transferred to Foreigners' Tribunal-2 under the number 1378/16 in the year 2016.

Amjad Ali Ahmed said, “Six months back, a family member of Mohammad Sanaullah called me up and asked why I gave a statement against him to the police. I was surprised and said that I was never called by the police to give any statement, and I had never gone to the police regarding any case.”

The three cases that have been registered are case numbers 474/19 (complainant-Kuran Ali), 475/19 (complainant -Subahan Ali) and 476/19 ( complainant-Amjad Ali Ahmed). These cases have been registered under Sections 66, 417 and 466 of Indian Penal Code.

The detention of Sanaullah, a Kargil war veteran who served in the Indian Army for 30 years from 1987 to 2017, has created a furore in Assam. It has also raised a question mark over the credibility of the Foreigners' Tribunals in Assam. There are 100 Foreigners' Tribunals set up in Assam and the home ministry has decided to set up another thousand tribunals, as the release of the final list of National Register of Citizenship is expected on 31 July this year.

Kuran Ali, a retired employee of the Assam Pollution Control Board, who is also named as one of the witnesses, says, "On 27 September, 2009, Sanaullah had received a copy of an FIR where I was mentioned as a witness. This is false, as I have never testified against anyone. I got to know about the case only when it became a matter of public discussion."

On the other hand, Chandramal Das, the investigation officer, claimed that the retired armyman was mistaken for another person who shares the same name, and he was arrested wrongly.

Speaking to a local TV channel, Das said, “The Sanaullah whom I saw on television being taken to a detention camp is not the person whom I had investigated. That person was a labourer, and this person is an ex-serviceman.”

However, the family of Sanaullah refuses to buy this statement. Ajmal Haque, a cousin of Sanaullah and also an ex-armyman, said, “If it was a case of mistaken identity, then how are the names of his wife and his three children correct in the FIR? The officer is lying”.

Since 28 May, Sanaullah, 52, has been languishing in Goalpara detention camp. The Indian Army’s Directorate of Sainik Welfare has offered to provide legal assistance to him.

On Saturday, a writ petition has been filed in the Gauhati High Court against the Foreigner’s Tribunal order.

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