Indian Army officer asked to prove his identity after 30 years of service

Indian Army officer asked to prove his identity after 30 years of service
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NEW DELHI - An Indian Army retired officer was asked to prove his Indian nationality as Assam police branded him a Bangladeshi, an action that reflects the long and contentious conflict over illegal immigrants in the northeastern state.

A foreigners tribunal served a notice to Mohammed Azmal Hoque, who retired as a junior commissioned officer (JCO) last year after serving the army for 30 years.

The Guwahati-based Hoque maintains that his family is indigenous Assamese and his father’s name is mentioned on the voters list of 1966. His mother’s name was listed in the 1951 national register of citizens.

“I have no doubt that I will get justice. But it pains me when my daughter questions me if this is how the country treats those who serve it for so many years,” he said on Sunday.

Hoque enlisted in 1986 in a non-combat role technician and retired from the army’s corps of electronics and mechanical engineers (EME) as subedar. He served in several places, including border areas in Punjab and Arunachal Pradesh.

His wife, Mamtaj Begum, was summoned by a tribunal in 2012. She was cleared as she had the necessary citizenship documents.

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