Police accuse Indian army veteran of being 'illegal Bangladeshi immigrant'

Azmal Haque, a retired ex-army engineer, received a notice from the foreigner's tribunal last month asking him to appear before the court with documents that he is not an illegal migrant from Bangladesh living in India and an Indian citizen by birth.

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.

According to the reports, the Foreigners Tribunal has served notice to Azmal Haque and has asked him to appear before it on October 13, with full proof evidence. A case has been registered against him by the Assam police and the foreigners' tribunal will hear the matter on October 13.

Incidentally, Hoque's wife Mamtaj Begum had also been summoned by a foreigners' 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", Hoque told CNN-News18.

Several of these tribunals have been set up in Assam to identify illegal immigrants in the country.

Citing the Army recruitment process, the retired soldier said that the army conducts a police verification before accepting troops.

Haque who joined the Indian Army in 1986 said that all his documents were verified by police before he was inducted into the army. Why do I have to be humiliated so many times? "If I were an illegal Bangladeshi, how could I serve the Indian army?"

Aman Wadud, Haque's lawyer, said that his client was never approached by any investigation agency.

"We produced all documents at the tribunal court that time".

Earlier in 2012 Haque was accused of being an illegal immigrant in 2012 by Foreigns' Tribunal.

Illegal immigration from Bangladesh is an emotive issue in Assam.

The Indian Army's East Command contacted Haque and has promised to all necessary assistance till the matter is solved. The onus to prove that one is an Indian citizen is on the person served with notice.

Haque has claimed that he was born in Kamrup district of Assam in 1968 and that his mother's name features in the 1951 National Register of Citizens. There was no communication from the Assam Government after the issue came to light in the media.

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