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Govt denied passport over national security concerns: Mehbooba Mufti

BusinessToday.In     March 29, 2021

Mehbooba Mufti's passport application was rejected by the Regional Passport Office based on an "adverse" police verification report. The former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir tweeted, "Passport Office refused to issue my passport based on CID's report citing it as 'detrimental to the security of India."

The letter from the passport authorities attached with the tweet reveals that her application, made in December 2020, had been forwarded for police verification, but received a negative report.

"This is the level of normalcy achieved in Kashmir since Aug 2019 that an ex-Chief Minister holding a passport is a threat to the sovereignty of a mighty nation," she added.

The passport officer, in a letter to the People's Democratic Party (PDP) president, informed that Mufti's passport application was rejected because the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Union Territory had recommended against granting the document to her.

Mufti, while commenting on the rejection of her passport application, said it shows the level of normalcy achieved in Kashmir. The letter also adds that she can appeal against the decision at a higher forum provided by the Ministry of External Affairs.

Mufti was placed in detention, along with hundreds of political leaders of Jammu and Kashmir, in August 2019 for more than a year, when the Centre scrapped the state's special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories. She was released in October 2020.

Mehbooba Mufti is currently being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering case.

Last week, after being questioned by the ED, Mufti alleged that anyone opposing the ruling government was "hounded by trumped-up charges" like sedition, money laundering.

The PDP also alleged that she was being targeted over her dissenting views and the government was misusing agencies like ED, National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

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