Prove you are Indian, Assam tribunal tells ex-Armyman

03 October 2017, 12:46 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Image for representation only

Retired Assam soldier asked to prove that he is Indian

Assam Police has accused a retired Indian Army soldier, who serve as Junior Commissioned Officer for 30 years, of being an illegal immigrant.

The notice mentioned that the district police have registered a case against him alleging he entered Assam illegally without any valid documents after March 25, 1971, the day Pakistan army launched Operation Searchlight against the people of then East Pakistan.

Mr. Haque who served in the Army's Corps of Engineers was summoned by the foreigners tribunal to appear before it on October 13 as he figured in the list of "doubtful voters" and prove he is not an illegal migrant from Bangladesh.

The foreigner's tribunal asked Azmal to appear before the court before Sept 11 in the case no BFT 1082/2016, but he received the notice after the expiry date.

Reportedly, Haque's wife Mamtaj Begum was also summoned by a foreigner's tribunal in 2012 to prove her citizenship. "I request the Prime Minister, the President, and the Home Minister to end this harassment of a proper citizen", Haque told CNN-News18.

In a twitter video uploaded by Aman Wadud, Haque has expressed his grief after being served a notice to prove his citizenship.

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This not the first case, earlier Assam police constable Abu Taher Ahmed was asked to prove his Indian citizenship. Mohammad Azmal Hoque (above right), who retired as junior commissioned officer in 2016, joined the Army in 1986, DNA reported.

"Hoque was never approached by any investigation agency and now he is being accused of being an "illegal immigrant".

Infiltration of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh is an emotive issue in Assam.

"The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is being updated in Assam and it is a matter of procedure to asks for documents to prove ones citizenship", he added. "I have served in the most hard terrains during my service period".

Social media criticised Assam police over the decision. Unlike criminal cases, in cases related to the Foreigners' Tribunal, the onus of proving one's citizenship lies with the individual.

The BJP-led Assam Government is now working on a mega project to update the National Register of Citizenship, which is expected to end the issue of "D" voters.



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