After 30 yrs of service, retd Army man branded B'deshi

Armyman For 30 Years Now Accused Of Being Illegal Bangladeshi Immigrant

The Foreigners Tribunal, established to detect illegal citizens residing in India, has issued a notice in the name of Mohammad Azmal Haque, 49, who retired from Indian Army as Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO).

It also charged him with having entered India in 1971 without proper documents, he said.

"After 30 years of service I have to face such insult.If I were an illegal Bangladeshi, how could have I serve the Indian army?". The retired Armyman has been dubbed as a "doubtful voter" by the Assam police and served a notice by a Foreigners' Tribunal in the state, asking him to prove his citizenship.

His case has been now referred to the foreigners' tribunal which will hear the matter on October 13. He had received a similar notice in 2012 too, then he had submitted all the documents in the tribunal court and the court has declared him Indian citizen.

His wife Mumtaz Begum was also allegedly tagged a Bangladeshi immigrant back in 2012 after which the couple had to appear before the court to prove their citizenship. "How many times we need to prove our citizenship?" asked the army veteran.

Again on March this year, 11 people in Kalikajari village who were referred by the border police force to the Tribunal, were descendents of Moulavi Muhammad Amiruddin, the deputy speaker of the first legislative assembly of Assam, who served between 1937 and 1946. "But it pains me when my daughter questions me if this is how the country treats those who serve it for so many years", Hindustan Times quoted Haque as saying.

The issue was brought to the attention of the Army yesterday through a Twitter post by lawyer Aman Wadud where he said, "Mohd. Its a 2008 case and on Tuesday (October 3) when the court reopens, we will send for the documents".

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

After a tweet highlighting Hoque's plight went viral, the Eastern Command of the Indian Army said that "necessary assistance" will be provided to the retired officer. He also said that his mother Rahimon Nesa's name is also mentioned in the 1951 National Register of Citizens (NRC). Unlike criminal cases, in cases related to the Foreigners' Tribunal, the onus of proving one's citizenship lies with the individual. Earlier, Assam police constable Abu Taher Ahmed was accused of being an illegal immigrant.

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