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Centre to decide on Geelani passport issue: Rijiju

A decision on granting passport to Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani will be taken considering various issues, including national security, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said on Wednesday.

“The Home Ministry has not yet received anything regarding his (Geelani) application for passport. When we receive it, we will take a decision taking into account various issue like national security,” he told reporters here.

Mr Rijiju was replying to a question on the issue of granting passport to the hardline Hurriyat faction leader who had applied for the travel document to visit his ailing daughter in Saudi Arabia.

Jammu and Kashmir’s ruling coalition partners PDP and BJP were sharply divided on Wednesday over the issue with the PDP saying it would approach the Centre for granting the travel document on “humanitarian” grounds.

Official sources said Mr. Geelani and his family members want to travel to Jeddah and had applied for passports online.

But he has not yet visited the regional passport office in Srinagar to give his biometric data and clicking the photograph. As per the new rules, an application must visit the passport office in person to give biometric details and click the photograph.

Sources said after Mr. Geelani visits the passport office to complete the formalities, his application will be sent to the Ministries of Home and External Affairs for their comments as he falls in prior security clearance category for issuing a passport.

The Ministries, then, in consultation with the Jammu and Kashmir government, would take a final decision on granting the passport to him.

Mr. Geelani was issued passport in 2007, 2008 and 2011 with a validity of one year in each time.


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Printable version | Dec 9, 2021 12:12:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/centre-to-take-decision-on-geelani-passport-after-considering-security-issues-rijiju/article7227707.ece

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