An inter religion married couple complained about harassment by a passport officer in the Passport Seva Kendra at Lucknow following which the action has been taken against the accused officer by the government with immediate effect by transferring him.
Piyush Verma, Regional Passport officer said passports have been issued to the couple and the department has show-caused the accused officer. Verma said “We have also sent the report to the Ministry of External Affairs for further action.” He assured that necessary action has been taken against the officer.
Piyush Verma said they would look after the matter and ensured that such an incident would not be repeated.
The couple Mohammad Anas Siddiqui and his wife Tanvi Seth, who had bene married for the last 11 years, had gone to the passport Seva Kendra on Wednesday. The officer named Vikas Mishra, asked Anas to convert his religion to Hinduism and Tanvi to change her name or her passport application or else the applications would be rejected.
The couple tweeted the matter to the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and they requested her to look into the issue.
How the whole incident took place inside the passport office was narrated by Anas. “When he (Mishra) saw my name under the spouse category on the documents, he asked Tanvi to change her name or her application would be rejected. When Tanvi refused to do the same, Mishra started shouting at her in front of everyone. When Tanvi broke down, Mishra asked her to go and meet the assistant passport officer (APO).”
The couple was married in 2007. They have a six-year-old daughter. They live in Aminabad area and work for a private firm in Noida.
“Mishra then called me and started humiliating me. He asked me to convert to Hinduism else my marriage won’t be accepted. Mishra told me that I would have to marry as per Hindu rituals and take ‘pheras’ and send my file to the APO as well. We met the APO and complained to him. He told us Mishra often misbehaved with people like this and asked us to come tomorrow, assuring us that he would try to solve the problem,” Anas added.
There are some rules to obtain a passport and everyone should obey them, said Mishra – the accused officer. He allegedly defended what he meant and said that he had “asked Tanvi Seth to get the name’ Shadia Anas’ endorsed as it was mentioned on her Nikahnama, but she refused. We have to go thorough checks to ensure no person is changing their name to obtain a passport.”
(Adapted from TheIndianExpress.com)