Indian Muslim athlete Tanveer Hussain denied US visa 

Paul Smith’s College snowshoe racers Tyler Dezago and Rob Calamia, left and Matty “Ice” Leichty, right, stand with Indian snowshoe racer Tanveer Hussain just before last year’s World Championship race in Vezza d’Oglio, Italy, in February 2016. (Photo provided — Tanveer Hussain)

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Tanveer Hussain, a snowshoe athlete from Kashmir, has been denied a U.S. visa because of the country’s “current policy,” his coach said.

Hussain, 24, was scheduled to compete in this year’s world snowshoe championship, which is being hosted in New York.

His coach said the U.S. Embassy said they were unable to help with the situation because of “current policy,” in the U.S. India is not listed among the seven nations whose citizens are currently barred from entering the country because of the executive order President Trump signed last Friday.

Under the order, individuals from Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, Libya and Yemen are currently facing a 90-day visa suspension.

Clyde Rabideau, the mayor of the county where the tournament is due to be held, said on Wednesday that two senators had contacted the U.S. embassy in Delhi for more information. The Delhi embassy would not comment on the matter, saying only that Indian citizens are currently not affected by President Trump’s executive order.

But Hussain’s coach said they’d prepared all the proper documents for his trip to the states.

“We had local government recommendation and also the invitation and verification letter from the New York snowshoe federation. But as soon as a lady visa officer at the US embassy in Delhi read our names, she went inside a cabin and came back after a few minutes. She said she was sorry, but that she could not help us due to the current U.S. policy,” he told BBC.

His teammate, Abid Khan, also had his visa denied. Both athletes are Muslims.

It would have been the duo’s first trip to the United States, who took up snowshoeing about three years ago in the Himalayan mountains, where they live. They competed in their first world championship last year in Italy.

Overall, Hussain and Khan are part of a group of about a half-dozen athletes and coaches from the nascent Snowshoe Federation of India who were planning to come. But Khan said they were the only two who were ultimately able to go. The others had to drop out due to sponsorship and other issues, he said.

On Tuesday, Khan and Hussain traveled more than 500 miles to the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi from their homes in the Srinagar District, located in India’s northern state of Jammu and Kashmir. They had filled out visa applications online and scheduled an in-person interview. Khan said they brought all the necessary and supporting paperwork with them, including invitation letters from Rabideau and the World Snowshoe Federation, and a support letter from their state’s Department of Tourism.

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