Sopore man ‘denied’ passport after failing to ‘grease palms of CID officials’

Bilal Handoo

SRINAGAR

thumbLast October, Ghulam Hassan Lanch, 45, of Sopore’s Iqbal Nagar applied for his and his mother’s passport at Regional Passport Office, Srinagar for performing annual Hajj pilgrimage. Seven months after, his mother’s passport was cleared, but his own was stalled on the ground of “denying bribe to CID officials” who prepared an “adverse report” by stating that ‘Hassan is the cousin of someone having militant links’.

Ironically, Hassan says, the passport of his younger brother was cleared—in spite of being the relative of Ghulam Jeelani Sofi, the same ‘militant cousin’ who has been languishing in Tihar Jail for last four years.

“You know,” says Hassan, “when I asked the CID officials: why my passport hasn’t been cleared up? They informed me that I didn’t pay them a bribe. I had rejected their demand only as I was going for the sacred journey.”

In their report (bearing serial no. 5) submitted on November 12, 2013, the CID officials mentioned the militant links of Hassan’s cousin in their submitted report—much against the stand of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah who in January this year, vowed: “I will ensure that no person is denied a passport on the basis of his or her relative being involved in subversive activities.”

Hassan alleged that the CID officials had assured him to clear his passport, if only he could grease their palms. “But I am not going to do anything like that,” Hassan told Kashmir Life. “They have stalled my passport on frivolous grounds. I expect officials to take cognizance in my case.”

The office of IGP CID informed Kashmir Life that proper action will be taken against the ‘tainted’ officials: “Besides, Hassan needs to file a simple application at IGP CID office to clear his passport.”

Though the office of IGP CID has promised Hassan all the help, but the Hajj aspirant from Sopore has to put some more efforts before clearing his stalled passport.

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