Witnesses Deny Statements, Claim Conspiracy Against Army Veteran
Three witnesses filed cases against the investigating officer stating that they were unaware of their testimonies.
In a surprising u-turn in the case of retired honorary Lieutenant of the Indian Army, Md Sanaullah – the former soldier from Assam who has been declared a foreigner – three people named as witnesses in the case have filed FIRs against Sub-inspector Chandramal Das of the Assam Police border branch, the officer in the case, reported The Sentinel.
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.
After the verdict of the tribunal, Sanaullah, a resident of Kolohikash village in Kamrup district, was lodged in a detention camp in Goalpara.
'Came to Know About Involvement From Social Media'
Mohammad Kuran Ali, Suwahan Ali and Ajmal Ali alleged in the FIRs that Das, who was investigating Sanaullah's case, did not call them to give any statement or sign any document as witnesses, officer in-charge of the Boko police station Jogen Barman told PTI.
The three claimed that they came to know that they were made witnesses to Sanaullah’s statement from social media, Barman said.
The police have registered three cases against Das under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Barman said.
"I had never met that police officer nor was called for an investigation," Ali told NDTV. "In 2008-09, I was not even in my village. I was in Guwahati, working with the government. Even Sanaullah was not here. He was with the army," he said.
'Being Harassed by Assam Border Police'
The three persons, in their complaints, also said Sanaullah was a genuine Indian citizen and was being “harassed by the Assam Border Police, which has conspired to declare him a doubtful voter”.
Sanaullah's lawyer Aman Wadud said when the Foreigners Tribunal heard the case, the retired army personnel was deployed in Manipur and had not given any statement in court.
The army veteran's family members have decided to file a case in the Gauhati High Court against the Assam Border Police and Das for allegedly conspiring to declare Sanaullah a "foreigner".
Relative Denies Statement, Says Police Never Met Them
According to ANI, Fazlul Haq, one of the relatives said, “The witnesses are residents of Sanaullah’s village. The Inspector had conspired, falsely included their names as witnesses and wrote false statement. When they came to know, they filed a case against him. Police never met them or took a statement.”
Live Law reported that to hold that Sanaullah was not an Indian Citizen, the Tribunal in Boko referred to the fact that his name had not figured in the voters’ list of 1986, though he was aged 20 years then.
Saifullah’s lawyer Aman Wadud told Live Law that this is a glaring mistake by the Tribunal, as the minimum age of vote in 1986 was 21, and it was lowered to 18 only through the 61st Constitution Amendment made in 1989.
The Tribunal failed to note that his name was in the voters' list since 1989 and that he had voted even in the recently held election, said Wadud.
Senior Advocate HRA Choudhary, assisted by Advocates Wadud and Syed Burhanur Rahman will make an urgent mention before the court on Monday seeking Sanaullah's interim release.
“In the Foreigners Tribunal, we have already contended that the case against him is fabricated and holds no truth as at the time when the police claimed to have taken his statement he was deployed in counter-insurgency operation far away in Manipur,” Wadud told Live Law.
Reports Mixed Up: Chandramal Das
Das told NDTV that Sanaullah was not the man he investigated but said that he had investigated a man by the same name, which is why reports may have gotten mixed up at the administrative level.
However,how accounts of witnesses residing in Sanaullah's village Kolohikash in Kamrup district ended up in Das’s report is still unclear.
Das also accepted that Sanaullah was not in Assam during the period the investigation was allegedly carried out, the NDTV report said.
(With inputs from The Sentinel, ANI, PTI, NDTV & Live Law)
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