‘Not an Indian by birth’, Geelani says getting Indian passport ‘compulsion’

Earlier, Geelani had told a news agency that he left the nationality column blank in his online application for the passport.

Web Desk
Srinagar, Publish Date: Jun 5 2015 2:10PM | Updated Date: Jun 5 2015 5:42PM
‘Not an Indian by birth’, Geelani says getting Indian passport ‘compulsion’Syed Ali Geelani at Passport Office in Srinagar on June 5, 2015. Habib Naqash/GK

Senior separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani Friday said that getting an Indian passport for travelling abroad was a compulsion and that he was "not an Indian by birth".

After stepping out of the passport office at Boulevard in Srinagar, Geelani told waiting newsmen that “I am not an Indian by birth. It's a compulsion that we have to travel with an Indian passport." 

Earlier, Geelani had told a news agency that he left the nationality column blank in his online application for the passport.

Police sources said that the octogenarian leader was released from house detention early Friday morning and that he was allowed to proceed to the passport office to complete the formalities.

Geelani, according to Hurriyat Conference, applied for the passport to see his ailing daughter in Saudi Arabia.

Geelani’s application for a passport had created a political furore which saw coalition partners, BJP and PDP, bitterly divided.

While the state unit of the BJP demanded an ‘apology’ from the leader for his ‘anti-national’ activities, PDP had said that it was a ‘humanitarian issue’ and that the Hurriyat leader should be issued a passport.

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