Srinagar, August 6: Kashmiri teenager Sufaira Jan has now been given a passport after being rejected initially. The 15-year-old girl has been offered a scholarship by the US, but her passport request was denied for a reason as strange as her uncle being a militant even before she was born.
The Central Investigation Department(CID) cleared her case on Monday and she was handed over her passport last evening.
Sufaira Jan stays in an orphanage in Budgam and was planning to leave for the US in the first week of August after receiving a scholarship under the India-US Youth Exchange Study programme.
She cleared four exams and an interview in the US embassy in Delhi in March to get an invitation from America, becoming an inspiration for the entire orphanage.
But reality hit hard when she applied for a passport in April and the Jammu and Kashmir state government did not give her a clearance, based on the state CID's records that her uncle was a former militant who surrendered in 1995.
"The government doesn't understand that if my uncle was a militant in the past, and is now surrendered and lives a normal life, what is my fault? I am not a militant," Sufaira had told NDTV.
When media highlighted Sufaira's story, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had tweeted: "Needless to say she will NOT be denied a passport because of her uncle's past. All such pending cases of previous denials are being cleared."