Updated: February 23, 2019 10:02:06 pm
A subedar with the Indian Army, who comes from Assam’s Barpeta district and is posted in Kolkata at present, is fighting the citizenship tangle in Assam.
Shahidul Islam, 43, said he has served in Baramulla in north Kashmir, and at the Siachen Glacier before his Kolkata positing in October last year, and now contesting a case at the Foreigners’ Tribunal Number 11 of Barpeta district to prove that he is an Indian citizen. “I have been posted in Kashmir, Kargil, and Siachen. I love my country and stand to protect it. But back home (in Assam), I am (seen as) a doubtful citizen,” Shahidul said.
The next hearing is scheduled on March 18. But, Shahidul said, “I may not be able to appear for the hearing on March 18 if I am on the move….”
Stating that the state border police’s reference case against his family was made in 2003, Shahidul said, “The first notice to appear at the Foreigners’ Tribunal came in October last year. It asked my mother, brother and me to appear on November 9.” Shahidul’s brothers Mizanur Ali (27), with the CISF, and Delbor Ali (29), with Army Medical Corps since 2010, are also mentioned with their father Abdul Hamid, who died in August 2005, as minors in the 2003 reference case.
In a letter to the Assam CM on December 20, commanding officer of 852 Light Regiment, Col Hari Nair, mentioned that Shahidul is under his command. The letter said the police verification of Shahidul and his brother Delbor before joining the Army declared them Indian citizens.
Sources in border police confirmed that the reference case against Shahidul Islam and his other family members was made in 2003 and he received a notice from the Foreigners’ Tribunal in Sarbhog in October 2018.
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