Retired Army man asked to prove his Indian citizenship

Oct 03, 2017, 00:46
Retired Army man asked to prove his Indian citizenship

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.

"If I were an illegal Bangladeshi, how could I serve the Indian Army?".

The notice, issued on July 6, asked Hoque to appear before the court on September 11 to prove his citizenship, failing which the case against him would continue ex-parte. A case has been registered against him by the Assam police and the foreigners' tribunal will hear the matter on October 13. "We gave all the documents to the court then to prove our India citizenship", he said, adding that the names of both his parents, as well as the names of his wife's parents, figure in the 1966 voters list, which is enough to prove their Indian citizenship. In his twitter message, he has requested Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose party BJP made the illegal Bangladeshi a poll issue during the Assembly election, the, president and the home minister to end this harassment of a citizen.

According to media reports, even Hoque's wife Mumtaj Begum, was summoned by the foreigners' tribunal in 2012 on similar grounds.

After serving in the Army for 30 years, an Assam-based veteran has been asked to prove his nationality by a Foreigner's Tribunal.

Assam Director General of Police Mukesh Sahay told PTI that it was "a matter of procedure" and that the foreigners tribunal did not take into account whether a person was an Army personnel or not while serving notice. "Azmal Haque, served in Indian Army for 30yrs, Retd as Junior Com Officer, now accused of being illegal immigrant by AssamPolice".

Infiltration of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh is an emotive issue in Assam. Haque wondered why he had to be humiliated so many times.

He said that he was not the first member of his family to have been served with such a notice. We have proved all the documents to the court to prove our India citizenship.

Haque, served in Indian Army for 30yrs, Retd as Junior Com Officer, now accused of being illegal immigrant by AssamPolice.

Haque, however, claims he was born in Kamrup district of Assam in 1968, and that his mother's name features in the 1951 National Register of Citizens. Unlike criminal cases, in cases related to the Foreigners' Tribunal, the onus of proving one's citizenship lies with the individual.

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