An athlete and the team manager of Snowshoe Federation of India scheduled to participate in World Snowshoe Championship in New York have been denied visa by US embassy.
Tanveer Hussain (24) and his manager Abid Hussain, both from Kashmir, were to travel to Saranac Lake village to participate in the World Snowshoe Championship scheduled from February 25.
The duo told Hindustan Times that the officials at US embassy in New Delhi told them that “due to the current policy” they can’t be issued visas.
“It came as a shock as we had all the documents, World Snowshoe Federation letter, government sponsorship letter and even letter from the mayor of Saranac Lake, Clyde Rabideau. Despite all the things the lady at the US embassy entered a room and came back saying sorry ‘due to current policy’ we can’t issue visa,” said Abid.
I and my manager were denied visas to USA due to their current policy: Tanveer Hussain(snowshoe athlete from J&K) pic.twitter.com/hxc5Hjtv6v— ANI (@ANI_news) January 31, 2017
Rabideau also updated his Facebook page with the message and expressing support for Indian team manager by saying “This will not stand. Do not give up! We will do all we can”.
Tanveer Hussain said that he was confused as to what the officials meant by ‘current policy’. “They did not specify and immediately called next man in the queue. I thought maybe it is because of (US president Donald) Trump’s (new immigration) policy,” Tanveer said.
A US embassy spokesperson told HT, “For privacy reasons we cannot discuss specific visa cases. However, we note that Indian citizens are not affected by the recent executive order.”
Last week, US president, Donald Trump ordered a temporary travel ban on citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries. India does not figure in the list.
The Kashmiri snowshoe racer is a sad man. “I took part in the high altitude training in Gulmarg for this event. I was hopeful of doing something for the country but unfortunately this thing happened,” he said.
The US will host the World Snowshoe Championship for the first time. Snowshoe racers from Italy, France, Canada, India, Japan, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Croatia along with hundreds from the US are expected to participate in the competition.
(With inputs Jayanth Jacob in New Delhi)