Kargil War Veteran Declared Foreigner, Detained in Assam

“This is the beginning of the undoing of Union of India”, says a Pakistani analyst

DESPARDES — A former Indian army officer and Kargil war veteran in Assam, who had won a President’s medal was apprehended on Wednesday and sent to a detention camp after a foreigners’ tribunal declared him a ‘foreigner’.

But Mohammed Sana Ullah’s lawyer said it was a case of mistaken identity as the order cited his client as a laborer who came to India after 1971 without legal documents. Ullah’s family said they had Assam land records going back to 1935.

Ulla, a serving police officer in Assam — India’s northeastern state, was dispatched to a detention center after a court declared him a foreigner, in one of the most controversial outcomes of India’s effort to clamp down on illegal immigration from neighboring Bangladesh.

Millions of people in Assam are scrambling to prove their citizenship after the government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party, mandated residents of Assam to produce documents proving that they or their families lived in the country before March 24, 1971.

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Police said they sent Ullah, 52, to a detention center in Assam based on the order of a Foreigners’ Tribunal.

“He served the Indian army for 30 years but was declared as a foreigner … and as per prescribed norms we have sent him to the detention camp,” Mousumi Kalita, a senior police official in Assam, told journalists.

“We only abide by the tribunal’s order and not aware on what grounds or why he was declared a foreigner.”

Last week, Modi government also passed the Indian Citizenship (Amendment) Bill that lays out a path for non-Muslim minorities from some neighboring countries for Indian citizenship. Muslim foreigners have been excluded.

Despite violent protests across the country, India’s top court on Wednesday refused to stall the implementation of the contentious law.

Protests against the law erupted in the northeastern state of Assam last week. They have since turned violent and spread to universities across the country, where students and the public have come out to chant anti-government slogans and call the law anti-Muslim and anti-constitution.

Meanwhile, this week, an internationally acclaimed expert while briefing US Congress on situation in Kashmir and Assam, raised concerns about possible mass extermination of Muslims.

Dr. Gregory Stanton, who is the founder of Genocide Watch, addressed an audience of Congressional and Government officials at a briefing titled Ground Reports on Kashmir and NRC in Washington D.C on December 12. “Preparation for a genocide is definitely under way in India,” he said, adding that the persecution of Muslims in Assam and Kashmir “is the stage just before genocide.” “The next stage is extermination — that’s what we call a genocide.”

A Pakistani analyst who specializes in India-Pakistan affairs, when asked to comment on the developing situation in India said, “This is the beginning of the undoing of Union of India”.

Ritau Sharma, an Indian analyst criticized Modi’s moves. He wrote, the “Idea of India” — a beautiful experiment — is doomed to fail if nothing is done to stop the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 (CAB).