Police dismisses allegation of pressuring litigants

Says committed to speedy, hassle-free passport clearance
Representational Photo
Representational Photo

Srinagar, Apr 7: J&K Police Friday said that it was committed to speedy and hassle free passport clearances.

In a statement issued here, Police said that it had come across several items in the media - in print as well as electronic - suggesting that its intelligence and counter intelligence wing among other things was pressurising litigants to withdraw from the process of redressing their grievances through the court of law.

Police was reacting to the statement of former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter Iltija Mufti who in a presser in Srinagar lashed out at the authorities over the

conditional issuance of her passport and accused them of misleading the judiciary.

It said that ordinarily, law enforcement agencies do not rush to the public to discuss its work processes and procedures, especially those that are legally ordained to be discreet in public interest.

“Since some of the published items contain outrightly false assertions attributed to figures with public profile it has become necessary to point out the untruthfulness of the claims,” Police said. “On learning that accusations have been made that CID of J&K Police has pressurised a litigant to refrain from litigating in the High Court in connection with her passport related grievances, a quick internal audit was carried out. J&K Police can affirm that the claim of such pressure is completely false.”

It said nevertheless, officers were being detailed to approach the aggrieved person and ascertain details – who pressurised, when, where and under what circumstances so that the quick internal inquiry if found inadequate could be expanded to take suitable disciplinary action against the delinquent.

“Unfortunately, the public person has apparently projected her personal grievance as also to be the grievance of the public in general in Kashmir. This is very problematic. J&K Police and its affiliates are public institutions and designed to serve public interest. Denigrating the community’s own institutions for grievances that are personal on the basis of false accusations is self harm,” Police said.

Putting records straight, it said that in 2020, of the 77,686 passport verifications received, 77,644 (99.95 percent) were cleared.

“In 2021, of the 75,714 passport verifications received, 75,176 (99.68 percent) were cleared. In 2022, of the 1,34,315 passport verifications received, 1,28,939 (99.61 percent) were cleared,” Police said.

Elaborating, it said, “Security verifications preceding issue of passports is a high value public service.”

Police said that it had detected that 54 young boys were wrongly given passport service during 2017-18.

“Unfortunately, all of them went to Pakistan, were taken to terrorist camps, trained in arms, ammunition and explosives, many of them pushed back into J&K through LoC and 26 of them died while either crossing or during encounters in the hinterland. Lives of 12 of these young boys could be saved by the CID after their return from Pakistan, by bringing them under preventive custody so that terrorist-separatist syndicates do not succeed in pressuring them to join terror ranks,” Police said. “Eventually all of the 12 have been handed over to their families. Today they are alive and happily live amidst their mothers, sisters, brothers, fathers and friends. Unfortunately, 16 of them are still across and trapped in camps under control of hostile agencies. It is heartbreaking to know that in some cases even parents had no idea that passport services have been extended to these boys of tender age.”

It said that intelligence and investigation had confirmed that in each and every case the visa to Pakistan was arranged at the behest of one or the other leader of a constituent party of Hurriyat.

“CID is committed to help the parents of vulnerable young persons in not falling prey to the death traps. J&K Police is committed to speedy and hassle free clearances for more than 99 percent who are ‘clean and green’ and a professional filtering of those who should be prevented from availing the service - some in their own interest and others in the interest of the public,” Police said.

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