A retired Army officer, after giving 30 years of his life to the nation’s security, has been accused of being an illegal immigrant from Bangladesh, and a case has been registered against him by the Assam police.
The case will be heard by the foreigners’ tribunal on October 13. Hoque has been asked to prove he is Indian and not an illegal Bangladeshi immigrant.
Mohd Azmal Hoque retired as a junior commission officer (JCO) last year and lives with his family in Guwahati.
Hoque said that he is hurt and broken that after 30 years of service, he has to face such an insult. He said that a police verification is necessary at the time of joining the Army, and the same was conducted in his case too.
In Assam, there are 100 foreigners’ tribunals set up to detect illegal immigrants, especially those who entered India after the creation of Bangladesh.
Infiltration from Bangladesh is a sensitive issue in Assam. The state, which had six Muslim-majority districts in 2001, had nine within a decade.
The notice issued by the foreigners’ tribunal said that a case has been registered against Hoque, alleging that he entered Assam illegally without any valid documents.
Issued on July 6, the notice asked Hoque to appear before the court on September 11 to prove his citizenship, failing which the case against him would continue ex-parte, says a Hindustan Times report.
The retired JCO, however, failed to keep the date as the notice reached his ancestral village Kalahikash near Boko, nearly 70 km from the state capital, after September 11. He will now have to appear before the tribunal on October 13.
Hoque joined the Army in 1986 in a non-combat role as technician and retired from the corps of electronic and mechical engineers (EME) as Subedar after serving at several places including border areas in Punjab and Arunachal Pradesh.
Noticeably, Hoque’s wife Mamtaj Begum had also been summoned by a foreigners’ tribunal in 2012 to prove her citizenship. Since she had all necessary documents, she was able to satisfy the tribunal.