Not an Indian by birth, only did it out of compulsion to get an Indian passport, says Geelani


Separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani on Friday declared himself an Indian and said that getting an Indian passport for travelling abroad was a compulsion and that he was “not an Indian by birth”.

“I am not an Indian by birth. It’s a compulsion that we have to travel with an Indian passport,” said Geelani as he came out of the passport office at Boulevard in Srinagar.

“Geelani submitted his biometric data — finger prints and iris scan — at the designated counter,” an official of the Regional Passport Office told a news agency. He further added, “He (Geelani) mentioned ‘Indian’ in the nationality column.”

Reportedly, Geelani had earlier told a news agency that he left the column blank.

According to Hurriyat Conference, Geelani applied for the passport to see his ailing daughter in Saudi Arabia. His application for a passport had led to a debate which saw coalition partners, BJP which wanted an apology from Geelani for his ‘anti-national’ activities, and PDP which viewed the issue as a ‘humanitarian matter’, bitterly divided on the issue.