Imam-i-Hai applies for passport once again

Umar Shah
Srinagar: Syed Mohammad Sayed Naqshbandi — the Imam of Jamia Masjid, also known as Imam-i-Hai in the Kashmir Valley — has again applied for a new passport after the Passport Office here asked him to re-submit his details. Naqshbandi had applied for a passport six years ago but was not issued the same due to ‘unknown reasons’.
He later filed a petition before the High Court seeking directions to the passport issuing authorities to clear his application. The court, in 2014, had said that Naqshbandi was a prominent citizen of the city and his credentials were clean in police records, and so he could not be denied vital travel documents.
A letter from the Regional Passport Office has now been sent to Naqshbandi, asking him to submit his application online. “Dear Applicant, you are informed to apply for a fresh passport under the system in vogue, that is through , as you had applied in old system under file number B001304/09 which stands closed, as all the files after commencing of the passport seva project are to be processed under the system in vogue (sic). The case shall subsequently be processed under the norms,” the letter says.
“I had applied for the passport so that I could perform Hajj but I was denied the same for reasons best known to the passport authorities. Now, I have re-submitted the application along with the fee. I am hopeful that this time I would be given the passport,” Naqshbandi told Kashmir Reader.
“That I lead Friday congregational prayers at Jamia Masjid could have been a possible reason for denying me a passport. I don’t know if that is a crime in the view of the passport authorities,” he added.
Meanwhile, Regional Passport Officer Firdous Iqbal told Kashmir Reader that Naqshbandi has applied for a fresh passport and that his application is under process as per the procedure in vogue.
“The police had come to my house in Eid Gah, Srinagar, and had sought my details,” Naqashbandi said, adding that he is scheduled to visit the police station at Safa Kadal on Sunday.