In passport form, Geelani says he is Indian

In passport form, Geelani says he is Indian

After declaring himself as an Indian in passport application form, hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani on 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 , Geelani told reporters he was not an Indian by birth. “It’s a compulsion that we have to travel with an Indian passport," he said.

"Geelani submitted his biometric data, finger prints and iris scan, at the designated counter," an official of the Regional Passport Office said.

He said passport to octogenarian separatist leader shall be issued only after necessary verification.

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

The separatist leader, according to reports, applied for the passport to see his ailing daughter in Saudi Arabia.

His application for a passport had created a political furor which saw coalition partners, the BJP and the PDP, bitterly divided.

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

Earlier, reports had claimed that he had left the nationality column blank in his online application for the passport.

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