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Take pheras: Inter-faith couple harassed at Lucknow passport office, MEA takes swift action

The incident came to light after the woman wrote of to EAM Sushma Swaraj on her “humiliating” experience

Take pheras: Inter-faith couple harassed at Lucknow passport office, MEA takes swift action
Pic courtesy: Facebook

LUCKNOW: An officer of the Passport Seva Kendra in Lucknow allegedly harassed and rejected the applications of an inter-faith couple after asking the husband to convert to Hinduism and 'take pheras', and instructing the wife to change her name.

Tanvi Seth and her husband Mohammad Anas Siddiqui alleged that officer Vikas Mishra humiliated and yelled at them, despite the couple possessing all legal documents to apply for a passport. 

The incident came to light after the woman, Tanvi Seth, wrote a series of tweets on her “humiliating” experience to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. 

“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. He spoke to me very rudely and was loud enough for others to hear while discussing my case. I have never felt so harassed ever before. The other workers at the office acknowledged his rude demeanour,” Seth tweeted, adding that the officer later rejected the couple's passport application. 

“This is clear grudge. I was shocked at this. I have never felt so insulted in the last 12 years of my marriage with my husband. It is my personal choice to choose a name I want to after marriage. This is our family matter and last thing I expected to hear at the passport office was it is your duty to change your name after marriage. The person who spoke to my husband later said if your wife’s case would have come to me there wouldn’t have been issues because her papers are complete,”she further tweeted.





Later talking to the media, she said, “It was a humiliating experience, the officer was very loud and made attacking hand gestures.” 

After reports of the incident went viral on social media, the Ministry of External Affairs took immediate action and reportedly transferring the officer in question.

“Their passports have been issued. A show cause notice has been issued to the official who was at fault, action will also be taken. We regret the incident and will ensure it is not repeated,” Regional Passport Officer, Lucknow Piyush Verma.

Lucknow-based Anas married Tanvi in 2007. The couple works in Noida and have a six-year-old daughter. 

Seth later thanked Swaraj and the RPO officials for taking immediate action.

“Since the time we walked in to the RPO office this morning we were treated very well by Mr. Piyush Verma and all the officials. They apologised for the misconduct of the official yesterday. They looked at our documents and issued passports to us in no time. The way we have been treated today has been reflective of the impression we had about Ministry of External Affairs. They have been absolutely empathetic and caring about the way we felt and our issues from yesterday. Thank you for the timely action and and understanding towards our feelings and issue. I am extremely satisfied with what has happened,” wrote Seth on Twitter. 

With ANI inputs