Rules Not Violated in Issuing Visa to Rana: Indian Consul General

Facing a controversy regarding issuance of visa to LeT operative Tahawwur Hussain Rana, Indian Consul General in Chicago Ashok Atri has met External Affairs Minister SM Krishna and said that there was no violation of rules while issuing visa to Rahan for he had submitted all proper papers for the same.

Atri, the 1975 batch IFS officer, said that no wrong wrong-doing had occurred on part of the Consulate as Rana, a Canadian national of Pakistani origin, appeared to be a bonafide normal traveller to India for business.

He also met National Security Adviser M K Narayanan and Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao.

The Consul General told Krishna and others that his office made no exception while granting visa to Rana. Citing an August 2005 circular of the Home Ministry, he said that the Chicago consulate was not required to send the visa applications of Pakistan-origin people to New Delhi and could process these in Chicago itself, said reports.

The circular said that except 43 countries, which did not include the US and Canada, there was no need for prior approval of the Home Ministry for issuing visas to Pakistani origin citizens, the Consul General told the Minister and the top officials, showing the documents in this regard. The same circular was repeated in May 2007.

Atri also clarified that Rana had submitted proper documents as proof of his 6018 North Campbell Avenue, Chicago, residence which included original notice of property tax by the Treasury Department. The clarification came in the wake of reports that Rana had submitted fake residential proof to get visa.

Rana had also submitted two letters by an American citizen Raymond J Sanders, said to be his business partner, recommending visa for Rana, the IFS officer is said to have told Krishna.

Sanders is owner of Mumbai Immigration Law Centre located at Dewan Avenue in Chicago, Atri told the government with documents. He said this in the wake of reports that letters of a non-existent company had been furnished to secure the visa and the consulate did not check up.

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