A retired Army officer living in Assam has been asked to prove that he is not an illegal immigrant from Bangladesh. Mohammad Azmal Hoque (above right), who retired as junior commissioned officer in 2016, joined the Army in 1986, DNA reported. Hoque told NDTV that police verification, which is mandatory for all those who join the Army, was done in his case when he had signed up.
Hoque was summoned by one of the state’s foreigners’ tribunals, set up to track illegal immigrants in India. He was sent a notice asking him to appear before the tribunal with documents proving he is an Indian citizen, but missed the date of his hearing, September 11, because he received the notice late, DNA reported. He now has to appear before the tribunal on October 13.
Hoque said his wife Mamtaj Begum had also received a notice from the foreigners’ tribunal and had provided it documents proving she was an Indian citizen in 2012.
Hoque has said that his family is from Assam and that his his mother’s name is listed in the 1951 National Register of Citizens. The state has to update its National Register of Citizens by December 31 this year, as per a Supreme Court order.
The Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in Assam in 2016 and had promised to close the border in order to end illegal immigration. News of the notice comes as security has been increased along the international border in the North East to prevent any Rohingya refugees from entering the country.