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Another ex-Armyman asked to prove citizenship in Assam

By PTI Updated: Nov 07, 2017 9:49 pm

Guwahati, Nov. 7 (PTI): Mahiruddin Ahmed, who retired as a havildar from the Indian Army in 2004, along with his wife, was served a notice to prove his citizenship by a foreigners’ tribunal in Barpeta district on September 16.
The incident comes a month after a foreigners’ tribunal in Assam had sent a similar notice to a retired Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) of the Army.
The notices claimed that both of them had entered India from Bangladesh after March 25, 1971, without any valid papers.
The tribunal had asked him to appear before it on Monday with the proof of his citizenship, Ahmed told reporters.
“It is very painful and shocking that we are subjected to such humiliation after serving in the Army,” he said.
Stating that he was born in 1964 in Barpeta, Ahmed wondered how could he have joined the Army if he was not an Indian citizen.
Last month, Mohammad Azmal Hoque, who had been a JCO in the Army, was asked to prove his Indian citizenship and that he was not an “illegal Bangladeshi immigrant” by a foreigners tribunal, which had charged him with entering the country in 1971 without proper documents.
Hoque, who had retired from the Army on September 30 last year, after serving the force for 30 years, was living in Guwahati post-retirement.
He had received a notice from the tribunal, which placed him in the “Doubtful Voter” category and asked him to appear before a local tribunal on October 13 with relevant documents to prove his citizenship.
“Why do I have to be humiliated so many times? I request the Prime Minister, President and Home Minister to put an end to this harassment of a citizen,” said Hoque, adding that he was not the first person from his family to be served such a notice as in 2012, his wife Mamtaj Begum was also summoned by the tribunal to prove her citizenship.
The Assam Police, however, later apologised to him as it was a case of mistaken identity.
The foreigners’ tribunals were set up in the state under the Foreigner (Tribunal) Order of 1964 to determine the status of citizens whose Indian nationality is found to be doubtful.
The number of foreigners tribunals was increased from 36 to 100 in 2015 following an increase in the number of cases related to alleged illegal migrants.
The Assam Accord signed in 1985 between AASU (All Assam Students’ Union) and the Centre had fixed March 25, 1971, as the cut-off date for detection and deportation of illegal Bangladeshi migrants in Assam.

By PTI Updated: Nov 07, 2017 9:49:20 pm