Assam's Directorate of Sainik Welfare (DSW) wrote to the Kendriya Sainik Board on Friday, saying the NRC tribunal that declared a former army officer a "foreigner" did not take into account" his service documents and had it done that, there would have been no confusion on his nationality.
DSW Director Brig (retd) Joshi Narain Dutt Ganesh Dutt informed the Board in Delhi that former army officer Mohammad Sanaullah was contacted by DSW at Guwahati (North) police station to ascertain the details of the case against him. Sanaullah shared facts that led to his being graded a foreigner by the tribunal. Dutt said Sanaullah cited multiple reasons that may have mistakenly led the tribunal to declare him a foreigner and lodge him in a detention centre at Goalpara. Dutt cited the DSW officials' interaction with Sanaullah in the letter. "While the foreign tribunal held the hearing, it was found that the year of birth of the individual is 1967 and as per documents his enrolment year is 1987.
"However, during initial NRC verification it is recorded that the year of enrolment of the ESM (ex-serviceman) is 1978. The tribunal is of the view that how it is possible that the ESM enrolled in the army at the age of 12 years in the year 1978 and it has been viewed seriously against him for giving false information possibility to conceal identity/facts," read Dutt's letter to the Sainik Board . Sanaullah's voter ID card, issued to him in 1987, showed his age as 22 years, whereas that year he was only 20.
The tribunal viewed it as wrong information was submitted by the former army man, the letter stated. Additionally, Sanaullah said the tribunal "did not take into account any of his service documents" and had it done that all confusion would have been avoided, the director said in the letter. Dutt said it may be noted that his brothers and their family members have been cleared by the NRC. "It appears that there is confusion on his identity and also the record held with the NRC," he wrote in the letter.
The DSW guided the individual to approach the Gauhati High Court against the tribunal order, Dutt said. The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the NRC state coordinator to ensure that fair procedure is adopted in dealing with the claims and objections on inclusion of citizens in the draft NRC.