GUWAHATI: "I could not believe it, and felt terrible when the police came to our home looking for my husbands uniform. He used to be so very proud of his identity of an army man serving the nation. He was such a dedicated soldier. This is the worst Eid we will ever have,” said Samina whose soldier husband is currently locked in one of Assam’s notorious detention centre for being an illegal citizen.

Samina told The Citizen that she is very worried now for him, and her family that includes two daughters and a son.

Fifty-two year old Mohammad Sana Ullah was once a proud Army man but is in one of Assams notorious detention camps,dejected and worried. He has no idea what the future holds for him, as he has been declared an illegal citizen by the Foreigners Tribunal.

Sana Ullah had retired as an honorary captain from the Indian Army in 2017. He is now inside Goalpara District Jail serving also as a detention centre for declared illegal foreigners.

Sana Ullah joined the Indian Army on May 21, 1987 and in 2014 was awarded the President’s Certificate. He was with the Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME)Corps of the Indian Army and served in insurgency-affected areas of Jammu-Kashmir and the Northeast.

After his retirement, Sana Ullah joined the Border wing of the Assam police as a sub-inspector in Kamrup district after qualifying the requisite tests. Interestingly, Border police carry out the responsibility of detecting illegal citizens across the state.

He was born and brought up at Kalahikash village under Boko police station of Kamrup district, about 66-kilometre west of Guwahati.

Ajmal Haque, Sana Ullah’s cousin who was also with the Indian Army said that it’s very hurtful to be so harassed.

“I can’t express the feeling of humiliation. We served the nation in difficult times staying away from our families and finally this is what we have got. We are hurt to the core,” Ajmal who was also served notice by the Foreigners Tribunal to prove his citizenship in 2017, told The Citizen.

“If this can happen to an Army man, can you imagine the fate of a common illiterate person in Assam? Anyone could be sent a notice and sent to a detention centre to rot there till they die. This is very unfortunate,” Haque said.

Sahidul Islam, son-in-law of Sana Ullah said that they are hopeful of getting justice from the Gauhati High Court.

Sahidul also an advocate who appeared in the Foreigners Tribunal said that the notice was issued by the court in 2008 but it never reached Sana Ullah when he was posted in Manipur.

“It came to light only when Sana Ullah approached the NRC (National Register of Citizens) authorities in 2017 after he didn’t find his and family members’ name missing in the citizens’ list,” Sahidul said.

The NRC is a process to update the list of genuine Indian citizens in the state of Assam who have come here before March 25 of 1971 and their ancestors.

So far the process undertaken under the supervision of the Supreme Court more than four million applicants out of a total 32.9 million have not been included in the first draft of citizens published on July 31 of 2018.