GUWAHATI: Yet another former Army man has been tagged as a "doubtful Indian citizen" in Assam’s Barpeta district , just 100 km from state capital Guwahati.

Fifty three year old Mahiruddin Ahmed who retired from the Indian Army as a Havildar in 2004 after serving for 18 years has been served notice by the Foreigners Tribunal, Barpeta, to prove his Indian citizenship.

Another notice was served to his wife Husniara Ahmed.

A few weeks ago, Azmal Haque, one Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) of the Army was given a similar notice in Kamrup’s Chaygaon and asked to prove his Indian citizenship.

The notices to the Ahmed’s were issued on September 16 this year and said that the retired Havildar and his wife entered India after March 25,1971 without any valid papers. So, they need to prove themselves to be genuine Indian citizens in the court.

“I got the notice last month. It’s ridiculous. What do I say now? This is pretty unfortunate to happen after devoting your life in the name of the nation. I would term it harassment,” a shocked Ahmed told The Citizen.

He has been asked to appear before the court on November 6.

Ahmed Joined the Army in 1986 and was posted in several places across the country including Secunderabad, Aurangabad, Jabalpur, Agra, Jammu and Satgaon Narengi camp in Guwahati. At the time of retirement in 2004, Ahmed was posted in Bathinda in Punjab.

He is a resident of Khablarbhita village which comes under Barpeta police station

“No one ever has got any kind of such notices in our family. So, I’m shocked how it can happen,” the former Army-man added.

Interestingly one of his siblings – Jalal Uddin Ahmed has retired as assistant sessions judge and another a second Alaluddin Ahmed is working with the BSNL.

Ahmed’s wife Husaniara was born at Howly in Barpeta district in 1972. Her parents have been in the voters’ list since1966.

Azmal Haque,49, a resident of Chaygaon in Kamrup district who retired from the Army in 2016 as a JCO was served the same notice. Assam DGP Mukesh Sahay had said that it was a mistaken identity.

This time in Ahmed’s case Sahay has asked the Superintendent of Police of Barpeta district to investigate the case.

Barpeta SP Shiladitya Chetia said that it was an old case of 1998 by the election branch. These are the cases which were pending in the Illegal Migrants (Determination) Tribunals. “Later, these were shifted to the Foreigners Tribunals. This is one of those cases,” Chetia said.

The IMDT was an act of the Parliament of India enacted in 1983 by the Indira Gandhi government to detect illegal immigrants (from Bangladesh) and expel them from Assam. It was scrapped by the Supreme Court of India in 2005.

These two cases are among hundreds where genuine Indian citizens have been served notices to prove their citizenship.

According to the government data there are altogether 1,41,733 so called Doubtful voters in Assam. An official document published by the Assam government in October, 2012 stated that more than 92 percent of the resolved cases of ‘D’ Voters have been declared genuine Indian nationals.