An inter-faith couple was allegedly harassed by an officer of the Passport Seva Kendra in Lucknow, where they had gone to complete their formalities on Wednesday.
Mohammad Anas Siddiqui and his wife Tanvi Seth alleged that an officer named Vikas Mishra asked Anas to convert to Hinduism, instructed Tanvi to change her name in all her documents and yelled at her when she refused to do so. The shocked couple returned home and later tweeted to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, asking her to intervene.
A native of Aminabad area of Lucknow, Anas married Tanvi in 2007. They have a six-year-old daughter. The couple work in a private firm in Noida, and had gone to Lucknow on June 10.
“Tanvi and I had applied for our passports on June 19 and got appointments on Wednesday at the Passport Seva Kendra in Lucknow. We cleared the first two stages and our files were then sent to counter C, which is the last stage, to complete formalities,” said Anas.
“Tanvi was called first to counter C where an officer named Vikas Mishra looked at her documents. When he 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),” he added.
Anas further said, “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,” said Anas.
Regional Passport officer, Lucknow, Piyush Verma said, “I came to know about the matter through social media and collected information from the APO, who is holding charge of the Passport Seva Kendra. The couple’s applications have not been rejected, they are still under consideration. I will go through the documents and look into the allegation made by the couple.”