International desk, October 01: After serving the Army for 30 years, a retired soldier has been accused of being an illegal migrant from Bangladesh and a case has been registered against him by the Assam police in India. The foreigners’ tribunal will hear the matter on October 13.Mohd Azmal Haque – who lives in Chayyagaon, 70 km from state capital Guwahati — retired as a Junior Commissioned Officer last year. “I am very sad, I cried a lot. My soul is broken… After 30 years of service I have to face such insult,” Mr Haque told NDTV. “If I were an illegal Bangladeshi, how could I serve the Indian army?”
He said a police verification is mandatory when anyone joins the army. The verification was conducted in his case as well.
Infiltration from Bangladesh is a sensitive issue in Assam. The state, which had six Muslim-majority districts in 2001, had nine within a decade.
Last year, the BJP came to power in the state with a key promise of ending illegal immigration by sealing the 262-km-long porous border.
But locals allege there have been several cases in which Indian nationals have been harassed.
Mr Haque said in 2012, his wife Mumtaz Begum also faced similar allegations. At the time, the couple had to present documents to prove their citizenship. “We produced all documents at the tribunal court that time… they declared her a proper Indian citizen,” he said.
This incident has triggered sharp reaction in social media.
“I tear in Assam police. Very very shameful act, how they are insulting a patriot soldier and a retd junior commissioned officer of the Indian Army. Anybody can imagine how the common people of the state suffering!!!!” read another tweet.
The Assam police has not been available for comment.