In an unexpected or rather unfortunate turn of events, an army officer who recently retired after 30 years of service has been asked to prove his Indian nationality. 

Mohd Azmal Hoque, 49, who retired as a junior commissioned officer (JCO) last year received a notice from Assam’s foreigner’s tribunal that says he is an illegal Bangladeshi immigrant, reported Hindustan Times

According to the July 6 notice, the district police have registered a case claiming that Hoque had entered Assam illegally from Bangladesh after March 1971. The notice also states that he has no valid documents and thus been asked to appear before the tribunal court on October 13.

He has been listed in the category of ‘doubtful voters’ by the tribunal. 

“I am very sad, I cried a lot. My soul is broken… After 30 years of service I have to face such insult,” he told NDTV

“If I were an illegal Bangladeshi, how could I serve the Indian army?”

Haque has also argued that a mandatory police verification was carried out when he joined the Indian Army, which proves that he is a valid Indian citizen.  

Previously, in 2012 Azmal Haque’s wife Mumtaz Begum was also summoned to present her documents when Haque was still a mechanical engineer with the Indian Army. She was, however, held as an Indian citizen. 

His son is currently studying at the Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC), Dehradun. 

A Guwahati-based lawyer Aman Wadud who is appearing on behalf of Haque for the trial has taken to Twitter to prove that Haque indeed is an Indian citizen.

An India today report also suggests that according to Azmal Haque, his father Maqbool Ali was listed in the 1966 voter’s list and in the village surveys of 1961-62.  

Haque was born in Kamrup district in 1968 and joined the Indian Army as a mechanical engineer in 1986. He was even appointed as Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) by former President APJ Abdul Kalam. 

In a video posted on Twitter, Azmal Haque can be heard expressing his disappointment in Assam Police’s action. 

(Feature image source: Twitter)