Geelani declares himself an Indian, but explains it as compulsion

SRINAGAR: The meaning of Irony doesn’t get ant better than this. The prominent Separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani finally admitted himself as an Indian.

He appeared in front of passport authorities on Friday and declared himself as an Indian while completing formalities for travel documents. He checked the Indian box in the passport form. But later while talking to media he said that he did it out of “compulsion”.

Geelani declares he is Indian for passport
Geelani declares he is Indian for passport

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

The 88-year-old hardline Hurriyat leader, who wants to visit his ailing daughter in Saudi Arabia, reached the Passport Seva Kendra here at the scheduled time of his appointment at 10.15am.

According to officials, he mentioned ‘Indian’ in the nationality column. Talking to reporters outside the passport office, Geelani said, “I am not by birth Indian. It is a compulsion”.

After the incident Hurriyat immediately came down to do the damage control. A Hurriyat spokesman justified Geelani writing Indian in the nationality column saying “Traveling on the Indian passport is a compulsion of every Kashmiri, Geelani too is compelled to complete the formalities in this regard”.