Passport rules relaxed

Passport rules relaxed

“There is more relaxation now and the process has been made easy,” J&K Director General of Police, K Rajendra Kumar, told Greater Kashmir.

 With thousands of people in Kashmir having been denied passport during the past three decades, authorities have now relaxed rules and asked the people to submit applications for a review of their cases.

Officials said that four years ago the number of cases where passports were not issued was around 60,000. However later the document was issued to hundreds of people after some rules were relaxed. They said that passport have now been issued even to the relatives of militants.

“There is more relaxation now and the process has been made easy,” J&K Director General of Police, K Rajendra Kumar, told Greater Kashmir. He said that the people whose passports have been withheld up to now should submit review applications and their chance of getting passport are more now.

Jammu and Kashmir is the only State where passports are issued only after approval of the state intelligence department- CID. CID officers can even recommend how long the passport should be valid for.

“I applied for passport in February 2013 with all necessary documents. After roaming from pillar to post and standing in queues outside these departments, I am yet to receive it,” said Abdul Qayoom of Pulwama. “Despite having no militancy-related background or connection with any political party, I fail to understand why I am not being given the document.”

A senior police official, who was posted with CID wing of J&K Police, told Greater Kashmir that there are hundreds of people, mostly youth, who cannot get government jobs, travel papers or any facility that requires police verification. “Their families have had some links with the separatists or militants during the last 27 years,” he said . “There is a security index and verification is issued on that basis. The index is based on inputs from various wings of the security system who maintain separate records,” he added.