Officer harasses Hindu-Muslim couple seeking passports; gets transferred

Mohammad Anas Siddiqui and Tanvi Seth wrote about their ordeal on Twitter and tagged External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj

The External Affairs Ministry has sought a report on allegations that an inter-faith couple was harassed and humiliated by an officer at a Passport Seva Kendra in Lucknow.  

Responding to complaints from Mohammad Anas Siddiqui and Tanvi Seth, who wrote about their ordeal on Twitter and tagged External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday, secretary, consular, passport and visa division, D M Mulay said he had asked for a report from the regional passport office in Lucknow and would take appropriate action.

"Regret for inconvenience. I sought report from @rpolucknow Will take appropriate action," Mulay said on Twitter last night.

Siddiqui and Seth had applied for their passports on June 19 and took an appointment for June 20 at a Passport Office in Lucknow. 

They were allegedly humiliated and shamed by passport officer Vikas Mishra before he rejected their application, they said.

 

Inter-faith couple harassed at passport office: Husband says, 'I was told I should change my religion & take 'pheras'. Wife says, 'We hope it doesn't happen to anyone else, in 11 yrs of marriage we never faced this. Later officials apologized & we got our passports.' #Lucknow pic.twitter.com/cqTIKc50Kc

— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) June 21, 2018
 

Siddiqui said on Twitter that he and his wife were seeking "urgent action against this cruelty". 

Subsequently, Seth received her passport on Thursday.   

"@SushmaSwaraj hello ma'am I type this tweet with immense faith in justice and in you and ironically with a lot of anger/hurt and agony in my heart because of the way I was treated at the Lucknow passport office at Ratan Square by Mr. Vikas Mishra the reason because I married a Muslim and not changed my name ever," Seth tweeted.

She added that the officer had spoken to her very rudely and loud enough for others to hear while discussing her case.

"I have never felt so harassed ever before. The other workers at the office acknowledged his rude demeanour," Seth said.   

 

I never ever produced my nikahnama as a document because it’s not required for a passport application. Even the officials at @rpolucknow mentioned it’s not required. I just needed to give an application that I want my passport on my maiden name as all my documents are on that 1/2

— Tanvi Seth (@tanvianas) June 21, 2018

Name. All that I did today was just gave that application and was able to get passport l. 2/2

— Tanvi Seth (@tanvianas) June 21, 2018


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