India’s Passport Authorities issued a short validity passport to a top separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, on Tuesday.
The issuance of the passport to Hurriyat Chairman Geelani triggered a major controversy, after the two coalition partners in the state chose a different stand over the issue.
“[The] Passport has been issued today,” Regional Passport Officer, Firdous Iqbal told Newsblaze.in. “We have dispatched a short validity passport to his address,” he said.
A Hurriyat spokesperson however, said the leader is yet to receive the passport. “We don’t know, if the passport has been issued,” he said. “ We are yet to receive any information from the passport office.”
Two months ago, when the issue became public, each ruling partner took a different line. The Bharatiya Janata Party leaders said that Geelani should apologize for his “anti India activities.” The People’s Democratic Party advocated instead, for the issuance of a passport to Geelani on humanitarian grounds.
The senior separatist leader had recently applied for an Indian passport, saying that he wanted to travel to Saudi Arabia to see his ailing daughter.
This is not the first time that the veteran leader has applied for a passport. He was issued passports in 2005, 2007, and 2011.