Passport clearance of ex-militants for Haj only after due verification: Govt


Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir government today said passport applications of former local militants for performing Haj and other religious obligations would be considered for clearance only after proper verification.

“The passport case of an applicant, who has been a local trained militant but has surrendered or has been arrested and subsequently, acquitted by court(s) shall be considered for clearance only after proper verification about his current activities,” Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said.

In a written reply to a question by National Conference legislator Shamim Firdous in the Assembly, Mehbooba, who is minister in-charge (Home), quoted from the guidelines issued by the Home department in 2014.

“An applicant who had crossed over to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir or Pakistan for obtaining arms training but has returned, eschewed violence, and is not found to be involved or has not indulged in any anti-national activity and has exhibited a good conduct since his return, may be considered for clearance of passport for Haj or Umrah pilgrimage on case to case basis..,” she said with some riders attached.

“…provided on the date of applying for such clearance, he/she has completed 15 years or more in the state from the date of his return,” Mufti said.

She said the government had notified a rehabilitation policy during January 2004 with a view to offer facility to those militants who undergo a “change of heart” and eschew the path of violence.

The policy was also meant to encourage former militants, who accept the integrity of India and the Indian constitution, to join the mainstream and lead a normal life and contribute towards prosperity and progress of the state as well as the nation.

The features of the policy include immediate grant of Rs 1.50 lakh to be kept in the shape of FDR for a period of three years, payment of monetary incentive for surrendered weapons and stipend for a period of three years at the rate of Rs 2000 per month from the date of surrender.