Mehbooba Denied Passport For Want of Police Verification, Moves Court

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Mehbooba Mufti | File Photo

Srinagar: Former Chief Minister and PDP President, Mehbooba Mufti, has moved J&K High Court for issuance of passport allegedly denied to her for want for police verification.

In her plea before the court, Mehbooba Mufti said that the Passport issued to her was valid till 31st May 2019.

She applied for issuance of a passport before the Regional Passport Officer on 11 December last year. “The Passport as per the instruction manual is expected to be dispatched within approximately 30 days,” she says.

“After the receipt of the Application, complete in all respects, the (RPO) sought police verification from that of (Addl. Director General of Police, CID) and (Sr. Superintendent of Police, District Srinagar).”

After an efflux of more than a month, she said that on noticing that the Passport has not been dispatched and the same is pending for physical police verification, Mehbooba said that she submitted a representation Passport Officer, stating that despite efflux of more than a month, the report sought by him has not been submitted, notwithstanding the guidelines issued by the Union of India through Secretary to Government, Ministry of External Affairs which mandate that the police verification is required to be completed within a period of 21 days .

“Accordingly, it was requested that the police verification report be forwarded to that of (RPO) at an earliest so that there is no delay in issuance of the Passport,” she said, adding, “That despite representation, it appears from the record that the (Addl. Director General of Police, CID) for reasons unknown, till date has not forwarded the police verification report.”

Subsequently, she has sought directions to the concerned to issue Passport in her favour expeditiously.

She has also sought directions declaring the action of officials concerned in not allowing her to travel abroad as illegal and unconstitutional violating her fundamental right to travel abroad as guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution or India.

“Any such order or direction which this Hon’ble court may consider appropriate in the given facts and circumstances of the case,” she added.

‘Don’t Shy Away From Engaging With People Of J&K’

Meanwhile addressing party workers Mehbooba asserted that resolution of Kashmir issue was imperative for peace in South Asia and that gun was no solution to any issue.

PDP president asked the Centre not to shy away from engaging with the people of Jammu and Kashmir and take a considerate view of their wishes and aspirations.

“New Delhi should not shy away from engaging with the people of Jammu and Kashmir. I urge the government of India to take a considerate view of rights and aspirations of the people,” Mehbooba said at a party convention in Anantnag district.

The former chief minister reiterated that the road to peace in the subcontinent traverses through Kashmir, and dialogue and reconciliation are the only meaningful mechanisms to resolve the impending issues and catapult the region out of a vortex of misery and uncertainty.

“Many people are ill at ease when I advocate the restoration of our constitutional rights and speak for the resumption of the dialogue process. But since when has articulating legitimate demands of our people and seeking resolution for peace become a crime? If not the government of India, who else do the people of Jammu and Kashmir turn to,” Mehbooba asked.

Underlining the changing geopolitical scenario, Mehbooba expressed hope that the government will seize the opportunity awarded by the impending SAARC summit that is likely to provide a window of opportunity to pick up the threads of dialogue and peace process between India and Pakistan.

“Geopolitically, a lot has happened over the last couple of months. The country is meaningfully engaging with China and steps have been taken to strengthen the ceasefire mechanism with Pakistan,” she said.

“The SAARC summit could soon convene in Pakistan and I hope that the prime minister (Narendra Modi) participates in it. It could be the opportunity to revitalise the ties (between India and Pakistan) and jumpstart the peace process through dialogue. That is what the people of Jammu and Kashmir are yearning for,” she added.

Asking people to take a cue from peaceful protest by farmers which has received global support, Mehbooba said that stones and guns won’t solve any issue.

“We must also take a peaceful way to get back our lost identity and solve Kashmir issue in which hundreds of people including militants, security forces and civilians have lost their lives so far,” she said.

The former CM also urged people present on the occasion to keep their children away from taking up arms.

“Guns won’t solve any of our issue and by picking up guns we are being exposed everywhere and that is being given name of terrorism,” she said. (With agency inputs)

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