"This is the reward I got after serving for 30 years in the Indian army. I am an Indian, very much an Indian and will forever remain an Indian," Ullah told the media as he was being taken to the detention centre.

This is my reward for serving in Indian Army Kargil veteran declared foreigner detained
news Human rights Thursday, May 30, 2019 - 11:58

A retired Army officer in Assam has been detained and sent to a detention camp after a Foreigners' Tribunal declared him a foreign national.

Md Sana Ullah, a resident of Guwahati, was detained from his house in Satgaon by the police on Tuesday after the Tribunal at Boko passed the order declaring him as a foreigner and sent him to detention camp.

Ullah spoke to Reuters as he was being taken into a police vehicle to be sent to the detention centre in the town of Goalpara. He said he felt heartbroken.

"This is the reward I got after serving for 30 years in the Indian army. I am an Indian, very much an Indian and will forever remain an Indian," said Ullah, who is the incumbent deputy inspector in the border wing of the Assam Police.

Ullah's advocate and family members also said that he was a genuine Indian citizen who had served in the Indian Army for 30 years and upon retirement as Honorary Captain in 2017 took up a job with the Assam Police in the Border Branch.

"Md Sona Ullah was born in July 30, 1967 to one Mohammed Ali, a resident of Kalahiklash village under Boko area in Assam's Kamrup district. As per the records he joined the Indian Army in 1987 and worked in different capacities. He also received a President's Certificate in 2014 for his promotion to the rank of Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) with effect from 2012," said Ullah's counsel Sahidul Islam.

"Post retirement, he joined the Assam Police. However, there was a Foreigners Tribunal case against him suspecting his citizenship credentials. On Tuesday, the Foreigners' Tribunal ruled against him though we submitted all documents to prove his Indian identity and declared him as a foreign national," Islam added.

He added that they would appeal in the higher court against the Tribunal's verdict.

Ullah had also served in the Kargil war, according to Mohammed Ajmal Haque, his cousin from Boko, which is about 60 km from Guwahati. Earlier in 2017, the Foreigners' Tribunal had served a notice against Haque also, who is a retired Junior Commissioned Officer.

The Congress on Wednesday urged Chief Minister Sarbanaanda Sonowal to take note of reports of harassment of genuine Indian citizens in the name of updating the NRC.

"A total of 44 people have so far have killed themselves in Assam after not finding their names in the draft NRC published by the Assam government last year," Congress leader Apurba Kumar Bhattacharyya said.

The Supreme Court took note of the matter, and CJI Justice Ranjan Gogoi urged NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela to ensure that due process is followed.

(With IANS inputs)

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