LUCKNOW: An official at Lucknow’s Regional Passport office was transferred on Thursday after he allegedly harassed and humiliated an interfaith couple.
The official, Vikas Mishra, allegedly harangued city resident Tanvi Seth for marrying a Muslim and asked her husband, Mohammad Anas Siddiqui, to change his religion when the couple visited the passport office with their applications. The couple has been married for 12 years.
@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 marri 1/2— Tanvi Seth (@tanvianas) June 20, 2018
Seth took to Twitter on Wednesday to narrate the harrowing experience and sought the intervention of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj by tagging her in her post.
“@SushmaSwaraj hello ma’am I typing this tweet with immense faith and 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 (sic) I married a Muslim and not changed my name ever,” she tweeted.
Regional Passport Officer Piyush Verma said Mishra was issued a show cause notice and transferred with immediate effect. The couple was issued passports on Thursday morning.
Expressing regret over the incident, Verma said a report had been sent to the Ministry of External Affairs “for further action”.
The consular, passport and visa division of the ministry had asked the RPO to take action against the official and send a report.
Seth tweeted on Thursday that her complaint had been redressed.
“Since the time we walked into 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 couple alleged that Mishra had indulged in moral policing and displayed personal prejudice while carrying out his official duties.
“I was called by him and asked if my wife’s name was Tanvi Seth... he asked me to change my religion and name, take ‘pheras’ and only then things would be done,” said Siddiqui.
Mishra, however, claimed that he had told Seth that her ‘nikahnama’ showed her name as Shazia Anas, which should be documented in her file.