Worldwide

Retired Army man asked to prove Indian citizenship in Assam

Retired Army man asked to prove Indian citizenship in Assam

A retired army officer has been branded as a Bangladeshi immigrant by Assam police, asking him to prove his citizenship in a freaky twist to the contentious issue of illegal migrants in the northeastern state.

Mohd Ajmal Haque, who retired as a junior commissioned officer (JCO) last year, after serving the army for 30 years was living a peaceful life with his family at Guwahati, when he received a notice from a foreigners' tribunal last month, according to Hindustan Times.

The notice stated that the district police have alleged that Haque, who retired as a Junior Commissioned Officer a year ago, entered Assam illegally without documents after March 25, 1971. We have proved all the documents to the court to prove our India citizenship.

"I was shocked and stunned". I gave everything for my country. "I am an Indian", Azmal Haque said.

The notice was issued on July 6 this year.

He has been asked to appear before the local tribunal on October 13, a report in the DNA said.

"But this is something I never expected". The state police has has termed Haque as a "doubtful voter". Azmal Haque joined the Indian Army in 1986 as a mechanical engineer and he was appointed as a JCO by former President APJ Abdul Kalam on January 19, 2003 in the rank of Naib-Subedar. If my parents are Indian and if all my siblings are Indian, how can I be an illegal foreigner?

Following widespread outrage, Eastern Command officials said they have contacted him. In 2012, the foreigners' tribunals had asked Haque's wife Mamataj Khanam to prove her nationality, which she did.

"This is nothing but harassment".

This not the first case, earlier Assam police constable Abu Taher Ahmed was asked to prove his Indian citizenship.

"We have learnt of the matter and we are looking into the details, the required assistance will be provided to the individual", Newton said.

The Assam Director General of Police Mukesh Sahay told the media, "I will look into the matter and see why a notice has been served".

Haque's lawyer, Aman Wadud, who is now gearing up to fight this case out in the tribunal took to Twitter on Saturday to expose how the retired Armyman was being humiliated.

"He (Haque) is being accused as "illegal immigrant" without any investigation whatsoever".

Illegal immigration from Bangladesh is an emotive issue in Assam.