A day after a retired soldier from Assam, who served in the Army for 30 years, was declared a foreigner by the state police, the Supreme Court on Thursday directed the National Register of Citizens (NRC) coordinator Prateek Hajela to ensure a fair hearing without cutting short the process and thereby completing the same by end of July, news agency ANI reported.
Media reports suggested that Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi asked the NRC official not to rush through the process in an attempt to meet the deadline of July 31.
The top court’s observation came after Md Sanaullah, who retired as subedar with the Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME) of Indian Army in August 2017, was detained to be lodged in a detention centre for illegal foreigners in the state as a Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT) declared him a foreigner.
In his testimony at the FT, Sanaullah said that he had served in insurgency-affected areas of Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast.
He was declared a foreigner by FT No 2 Kamrup (Rural) on May 23 this year. His family members and lawyer maintain that Sanaullah’s Indian citizenship can be proved easily with the documents of his ancestors, and of that of his employment with the Indian Army. Sanaullah at present works as a sub-inspector with Assam Police’s border wing — a special wing that deals with detection of illegal migrants in the state.
Confirming that Sanaullah has been detained, Additional SP of Kamrup, Sanjib Saikia, told The Indian Express, “The FT declared him a foreigner and we are complying with the law.”
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