Mehbooba Mufti denied passport over 'national security concerns'
Srinagar/UNI: PDP president and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday said that her passport was not renewed by authorities over 'national security concerns' on the basis of a report by Jammu and Kashmir Police’s Criminal Investigative Department (CID) .
“Passport Office refused to issue my passport based on CID’s report citing it as ‘detrimental to the security of India. This is the level of normalcy achieved in Kashmir since Aug 2019 that an ex Chief Minister holding a passport is a threat to the sovereignty of a mighty nation,” Ms Mehbooba wrote on micro-blogging site twitter.
Passport Office refused to issue my passport based on CID’s report citing it as ‘detrimental to the security of India. This is the level of normalcy achieved in Kashmir since Aug 2019 that an ex Chief Minister holding a passport is a threat to the sovereignty of a mighty nation. pic.twitter.com/3Z2CfDgmJy— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) March 29, 2021
She also posted a letter sent by Passport Officer, Srinagar, stating that her passport has not been renewed because of "adverse" feedback received from the Crime Investigation Department (CID).
Ms Mehbooba had applied for a fresh passport in December last year after the previous one expired on May 31, 2020. However, the application was not cleared in the absence of a police verification report following which she approached J&K High Court in March this year.
In her plea, Mehbooba had said that her passport was valid till May 31, 2019 and she had applied for its renewal before the Regional Passport Officer (RPO), Srinagar, on December 11, 2020.
She said the passport as per the instruction manual was expected to be dispatched within 30 days. However, she said the passport was not renewed because the police verification was still pending. “I submitted a representation to the police officer concerned urging police verification report be forwarded to the RPO so that there is no delay in issuance of the passport,” the former chief minister said.
The former chief minister said despite representation, it appears from the record that ADGP CID for ‘unknown reasons’ have not forwarded the police verification report to RPO.
Hearing the petition on March 23, additional solicitor general TM Shamsi, representing the Ministry of External Affairs and the Regional Passport office, had sought a short adjournment after the counsel representing the J&K CID informed the HC that the verification report on her passport application had been submitted on March 18.
Mehbooba, former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Farooq Abdullah, besides scores of prominent politicians were placed under detention on August 5, 2019, when Centre abrogated Article 370 and and divided the state into two Union Territories.
The PDP chief was released from detention in October 2020 after the J&K administration revoked the Public Safety Act (PSA) charges against her.