Assam: Witnesses Allege Documents Forged By Police To Declare Ex-Army Man 'Foreigner'
Days after, a former Army officer was sent to a detention camp in Assam, a case against investigating officer Chandramal Das was registered on Monday (3 May 2019) for allegedly forging the documents, reported The Indian Express. Chandramal Das, a former sub-inspector (SI) with Assam Police, was involved in detecting illegal foreigners. A report by Das on Kargil veteran Mohammad Sanaullah in 2009-09 led to him being declared an illegal immigrant last month.
The case against Das was registered after three persons, who were named as witnesses in the 2009 report, filed a complaint against Das at Boko police station on Sunday. They stated that Das allegedly forged the documents to frame the Kargil veteran Mohammad Sanaullah as an illegal migrant. Earlier, based on the investigation report by Das, a reference case was filed against Sanaullah in 2009.
The witnesses, in a three separate complaint submitted to the officer-in-charge at the Boko police station, claimed that their names were included without their permissions and their signatures were fake. They even mentioned that they have never met Das before.
“I have never met this police officer (Das). In 2008-09, I used to stay in Guwahati since I was employed with the Water Pollution Control Board from 1981 to 2014 – he could not have met me here. It’s completely false. He fabricated the witness of all three of us and hence we lodged the police complaint. We will go to court and say the same if need be. I know Sanaullah’s family, their house is around a kilometre away from mine,” said Kuran Ali, one of the witnesses, to The Indian Express.
However, in an interview on a local television channel NewsLive, Das said that the person whom he interrogated in 2008-09 was different than the ex-army officer who has been sent to the detention camp. “The person whose interrogation I had done is not the person who has been taken to detention camp now. The report was written by me, in my hand-writing. The Sanaullah whose thumb impression I had taken is not this Sanaullah. The person I am now seeing on TV, I have never seen him before,” said Das.
Last week, on May 29, Sanaullah was apprehended and sent to a detention camp in Goalpara district of Assam after a foreigners tribunal declared him a foreigner. He was declared a non-citizen on the ground of discrepancy in age mentioned in various documents submitted by him.
According to the tribunal, there was a mismatch in the year of birth orally communicated by Sanaullah and the year mentioned in the documents submitted by him. During cross-examination, Sanaullah said he joined the Army in 1978, while the documents submitted by him mentioned the joining year as 1987, reported The Wire.
“If I consider it as correct date, then again the question arises in mind that why the opposite party (Sanaullah) is not enrolled in the voter list of 1986 as already by then, he had attained the age of 20 years,” the tribunal judge noted in his analysis of the case.
However, questioning the verdict of the tribunal judge, Gauhati High Court lawyer Aman Wadud, is defending Sanaullah in the HC said, “How could he have it when the voting age was lowered from 21 to 18 by the 61st amendment to the constitution on March 28, 1989?”
Following the arrest, the family approached the Gauhati High Court on Wednesday. Referring to the arrest as “heart-breaking” Sanaullah’s cousin Mohammed Ajmal Hoque, who retired as a junior commissioned officer told The Hindu, “Is this his reward for giving 30 years of his life to the Army defending the country, including fighting in the Kargil War?”
Who is Md Sanaullah?
Sanaullah, 52, a resident of Kolohikash village under Boko police station in Kamrup district, has served in the Army from May 1987 to August 2017. He was awarded the President’s medal in 2014 and retired as a Subedar with the Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers of the Indian Army in August 2017. Post-retirement, he served in the Border wing of the Assam police as a sub-inspector in Kamrup (rural) district.