Assam’s top police officer on Tuesday said that the ‘foreigner’ notice served on a retired Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) was a case of “mistaken identity” due to similar names, even as the retired soldier, Mohd Azmal Haque, dismissed the claim and called it an attempt at covering up a mistake by the police.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has ordered a probe into the “lapse” and asked DGP (Border) to fix responsibility for lapses, if any.
“It appears (to be) a matter of mistaken identity due to close similarity in names of the JCO and the suspected foreigner on whom the notice was intended to be served,” Assam DGP Mukesh Sahay said. “While JCO Hoque is son of late Md Makbul Hussain, the suspected foreigner by the same name is son of one late Maqbool Ali — of same Kalahikash village, under Boko police station in Kamrup district. The JCO’s wife is Mamtaz Khanam, the suspected foreigner’s wife’s name as per case records is Mazrul Bibi.”
The police had served the notice on behalf of Foreigners’ Tribunal of Kamrup, asking Azmal to prove that he was an Indian citizen and had not illegally entered from Bangladesh after 1971.
The retired soldier told The Indian Express: “I have seen the statement of the DGP where he has described the incident as a case of mistaken identity. But I can challenge that there is no second person by my name, with his father’s name as late Maqbool Ali, as stated by the DGP. This is nothing but an attempt to cover up police’s mistake.”
Azmal said he will move the court to seek compensation for mental harassment, as also for defaming him.
DGP Sahay said that the original proceeding of the case against the suspected foreign national by the same name went back to 2008, and has “not originated during the present regime” headed by Sarbananda Sonowal.
The DGP also said that the local police could not serve the notice in their first attempt and took it back to the police station. “But the retired JCO on his own collected the notice from the police station through his brother, despite the Border Police personnel posted there suggesting that the notice was perhaps not for him,” Sahay said.