Assam: Ex-army man Haque asked to prove citizenship

Marsha Scott
October 3, 2017

Mohd Azmal Haque, who had retired previous year as Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) has posted a video on social media stating that he had received a notice from government placing him in the doubtful-voter category.

The Foreigners' Tribunal No 2 located at Boko under Kamrup district in Assam has issued a notice to Ajmal Haque and said that he was accused of illegally entering Assam without any valid document after March 25, 1971.

"If I were an illegal Bangladeshi, how could I serve the Indian Army?". The retired JCO said that he had missed the first date of appearing before the tribunal on September 11as he had received the notice after that date.

His case has been now referred to the foreigners' tribunal which will hear the matter on October 13. "I request the prime minister, the president and the home minister to end this harassment of a proper citizen". In 2012, the foreigners' tribunals had asked Haque's wife Mamataj Khanam to prove her nationality, which she did.

These tribunals were set up in Assam to determine the status of citizens whose Indian nationality was found to be doubtful.

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The Assam Director General of Police Mukesh Sahay told the media, "I will look into the matter and see why a notice has been served". Haque wondered why he had to be humiliated so many times.

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

According to records from 2015, the number of tribunals increased to 100 soon after the number of cases on alleged illegal migrants increased, according to India Today report.

Replying to Waduds tweet, Major D P Singh notified the Eastern Command, which said "necessary assistance will be provided to the veteran". Unlike the criminal cases, in cases related to the Foreigners' Tribunal, the onus of proving one's citizenship lies with the individual. He added that his mother's name was also mentioned in the 1951 National Register of Citizens, Hindustan Times reported.

The illegal infiltration of Bangladeshis has been a sensitive issue in Assam. It attempts to create a data base of people who had lived in Assam before the cut-off date in 2010 was mired by chaos, police firing and it had to be stopped.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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