Azmal Haque who served 30 years is now accused of being an illegal immigrant by Assam police

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“I am a khilonjia axomiya (someone whose origins are in Assam); I belong to this soil. Why is the government trying to harass us on communal grounds,” he says in the video message and it is difficult to miss the pain in his voice .

The retired JCO said, he had missed the first date of appearing before the tribunal on September 11 as he had received the notice after that date. (Source: Twitter/ @AmanWadud)

Assam: A retired soldier has been accused of being an illegal immigrant by Assam Police. Mohd Azmal Haque, who served in the Indian Army for 30 years and retired as a Junior Commissioned Officer, has been served a notice by a Foreigners’ Tribunal in the state, asking him to prove his citizenship.

Mohd Azmal Hoque, the Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) who had retired from service on September 30, 2016 told reporters yesterday that he had received the notice placing him in the doubtful-voter category.

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

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“I have served the Indian Army for 30 years,” Hoque said adding that he had received the notice asking him to appear before a local tribunal on October 13 with relevant documents to prove his Indian citizenship. The retired JCO said, he had missed the first date of appearing before the tribunal on September 11 as he had received the notice after that date.

He said, he will appear before the tribunal on October 13.

“In 2012 also, I had received a notice saying I was a doubtful voter but I submitted all documents in the tribunal court and it had declared me as an Indian citizen”, he said.

“Why do I have to be humiliated so many times? I request the prime minister, the president and the home minister to end this harassment of a proper citizen,” Hoque said.”My father’s name Maqbool Ali) is in the 1966 voter’s list, and in village surveys in 1961, 1962 and we have kheraj patta from 1963, while my mother’s name (Rahimon Nesa) is mentioned in the 1951 National Register of Citizens (NRC),” he says.

The issue was brought to the attention of the Army by a twitter post of lawyer Aman Wadud where he said “Mohd. Azmal Haque,served in Indian Army for 30yrs, Retd as Junior Com Officer,now accused of being illegal immigrant by AssamPolice. @adgp”

“He served in a non-combat role, in the computer and networking team and trained at Secunderabad 1ENE Training Centre. After a six-month military training, he served the Army in the technical department from various places.

He was at the LoC in Punjab’s Khemkaran Sector and Kalaigaon, at Tawang on the Indo-China border, at Lucknow, at Kota. Also had a stint at the College of Defence Management at Secunderabad.”

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“Hoque is not even the first person in his family to have been summoned by the Foreigner’s Tribunal. His wife, Mamataj Begum, was also summoned by the same court to prove her citizenship in 2012. Ironically, the affidavit where she was identified as an Indian citizen mentions Hoque as her husband. Hoque was posted at Chandigarh at that time.
harass us on communal grounds,” he says.

Haque’s case is one in many where the 100-odd Foreigner’s Tribunals in Assam has summoned a government functionary to prove his citizenship. As per a directive from the Supreme Court, Assam needs to upgrade its National Register of Citizens by December 31, 2017.

In May this year, Hoque says, he had applied for a franchisee of a customer point of a bank. “The same police office of who delivered me the summon had verified my credentials then,” he adds.
One of his sons is now studying at the Rashtriya Indian Military College in Dehradun, being one of the few to have bagged a yearly scholarship of Rs 30,000 per annum by the Assam state education department.

Outrage on social media

After the news broke out, it left many people in shock and anger. Many criticised it was due to Haque’s religious backgrounds.

Eastern Command of Indian Army was quick to notice the outrage and assured assistance to Mr Haque.

Watch his video message

With PTI inputs

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