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Tarun Gogoi says will write to PM, HM on war veteran’s citizenship plight

By PTI Updated: Jun 04, 2019 10:44 pm

Guwahati, Jun 4 (PTI): Senior Congress leader Tarun Gogoi on Tuesday said he will write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah about the alleged harassment of Mohammad Sanaullah, a former Army officer who was declared a “foreigner” and lodged in a detention centre in Assam.

The three-time former chief minister said the Assam government should move court to give relief to Sanaullah as he was an employee of the Assam Border Police at the time of the judgement by the Foreigners’ Tribunal at Boko.

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.

Claiming that 39 persons have so far committed suicide after getting notices from the Foreigners’ Tribunal, he asserted that the human rights commission should look into this issue.

Gogoi alleged that the officer who had verified the documents and recorded the statement of Sanaullah had committed a mistake and demanded his arrest.

“I will write to the prime minister and (union) home minister about this. If this continues, will you sit idle and not do anything? The home minister knows that he worked in the Defence force,” he told a press conference.

The subsequent developments after declaring the Kargil war veteran as a foreigner have proved it beyond doubt that the authorities did not function the way it should have been, Gogoi said.

“It is clear that he is an Indian national. I strongly condemn this (declaring as foreigner). If there is torture on a genuine Indian citizen and if his Constitutional rights are violated by anyone, where should we go?” he said.

He claimed that objections are being levelled against the way Foreigners Tribunals (FT) are functioning, and it is alleged that the officers have become arbitrary and corrupt.

Three FIRs have been lodged against retired sub- inspector Chandramal Das who had verified the documents and recorded the statement of Sanaullah. The complaints were filed by three persons, whose names appeared as witnesses in the statement but they claimed they were not called during verification and had not signed on any document as witnesses.

“There is no revision petition so far or any bail application. It is Eid tomorrow and instead of celebrating the festival, he is in a detention centre. It cannot be more unfortunate than this. The Assam government can go to the High Court or the Supreme Court,” Gogoi said.

“They (government) cannot detect the foreigners, but harass Indians. They had promised to deport all the illegal foreigners, but now want to force Indians to leave. They (BJP) got votes on this issue,” he added.

Sanaullah is presently lodged at the Goalpara detention centre and his family has decided to move the Gauhati High Court against Das and the Assam Border police, which discharged him from service after the FT verdict.

Gogoi said, “I have got a report that 39 people have committed suicide after getting notices from the FTs. They are mostly (linguistic) minorities belonging to Hindu Bengali community. And they (BJP government) talk about Hinduva!”

“What is the Human Rights Commission doing? What is the point of its existence if it does not do anything on violation of basic rights of Indian citizens?” he asked.

About updation the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Gogoi said the entire process is creating more problems than solving the foreigners’ issue and it is clear that lakhs of genuine Indians will be excluded from it.

“Neither the Assam government nor the Centre is serious about the NRC. That is why newer issues are cropped up every other day. The work is not going on as per the Supreme Court instructions,” the Congress leader said.

He claimed that the number of Bengali speaking people will increase in Assam and endanger the Assamese language if the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is enacted.

“The people of Assam should decide now whether they want to remain as Assamese or become Hindu only,” he added.

By PTI Updated: Jun 04, 2019 10:44:24 pm