Lucknow inter-faith couple row: Officer was wrong, finds probe; authorities clear passport

According to sources, the officer was wrong in asking the couple irrelevant questions about their religion while processing their passport applications.

Lucknow inter-faith couple row: Officer was wrong, finds probe; authorities clear passport
Pic courtesy: Facebook

NEW DELHI: The Lucknow Passport Office has cleared all decks in issuing the passport to the inter-faith couple on Wednesday. Further, an internal government probe found that the concerned passport officer did question the couple on their faith. 

According to sources, the officer was wrong in asking the couple irrelevant questions about their religion while processing their passport applications, reported news agency PTI.

Last month, an officer of the Passport Seva Kendra in Lucknow harassed and rejected the applications of inter-faith couple Tanvi Seth and her husband Mohammad Anas Siddiqui. The officer told the husband to convert to Hinduism and 'take pheras', and instructed the wife to change her name.

The incident came to light after the woman wrote a series of tweets on her “humiliating” experience to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. Seth alleged that the officer Vikas Mishra humiliated and yelled at them, despite the couple possessing all legal documents to apply for a passport. 

Taking swift action, the MEA later transferred the official from Lucknow to Gorakhpur, following which Swaraj was targeted online by the trolls.

The sources at the passport office added that the UP police verification report focused on irrelevant details about the couple.

They said the Uttar Pradesh Police was also wrong in finding about their residence and other irrelevant details while conducting verification process, required to issue a passport. 

As per procedure, the police should only check whether an applicant is involved in any criminal activity and whether he or she is a bona fide Indian citizen or not, the sources said.

With PTI inputs

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