Passports cannot be denied to kin of militants: Omar

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah today said he will ensure that no person is denied a passport on the basis of his or her relative being involved in subversive activities.

india Updated: Jan 09, 2014 19:28 IST
Toufiq Rashid
Toufiq Rashid
Srinagar,Jammu and Kashmir chief minister,Omar Abdullah

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday said that passport cannot be denied to a person on the basis of his or her relative being involved in anti-national activities.

Terming the adverse report of the relative of former militant by CID against the state policy, Omar questioned his own police on micro blogging website Twitter and wrote, "I am sure if there is nothing in his own record, his relative's history will not prejudice his passport application."

Omar was reacting to a report in local media about a journalism graduate Ruhail Afzal Shiekh, 24, from the frontier Kupwara district in north Kashmir. Shiekh was denied passport due to his father's links with separatist Jammu Kashmir Libreation Front (JKLF) outfit.

Sheikh had applied for a passport for travelling to Britain for interning with a newspaper 'The Guardian'.
Omar said that the rejection of Sheikh's passport application raised questions on the decision of the CID department as it had gone against the state policy.

"I will get to the bottom of this issue because, although this case was highlighted, I must ensure there aren't others going unnoticed," Omar wrote on Twitter.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, inspector general of CID BN Srinivasan said that the agency was not denying passport on the issue. "The passport policy clearly says that passport is to be given considering a person's past, his family history of subversive activities and also the person's current activities. But we have been issuing passport to people who have a clean personal records," Srinivasan said.

He, however, agreed that aberrations happen at 'a lower level'. "Most of the cases come for a review every Thursday and we clear them immediately. This case is also coming for review and will be cleared,"' he said.

Srinivasan said that Shiekh's case was borderline as his father was active militant for 16 years. "He was in PoK for 17 years but in spite of that he will not be discriminated," he said.

This is not the first time that such cases have been highlighted by the media. In October 2013, a 15-year-old girl at an orphanage had claimed that she was being denied a passport which would allow her to study in the USA as her uncle was a former militant.

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First Published: Jan 09, 2014 16:02 IST