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After humiliation, inter-faith couple receives passports

SNS | New Delhi |

The inter-faith couple allegedly harassed by an officer of the Passport Seva Kendra in Lucknow on Wednesday received their passports on Thursday. The couple had gone to the Seva Kendra to complete their formalities.

The Regional Passport Officer expressed his regret on Thursday over the incident and ensured that nothing like this would happen again.

“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,” he told the media.

On Wednesday, Mohammad Anas Siddiqui and his wife Tanvi Seth had alleged that an officer named Vikas Mishra was irked with the couple and asked Anas to marry Tanvi following Hindu rituals. He also instructed Tanvi to change her name in all her documents and allegedly yelled at her when she refused to do so.

After receiving the passports, Tanvi told reporters: “We hope it doesn’t happen to anyone else, in 11 years of marriage we never faced this. Later, officials apologised and we got our passports.”

Earlier, the humiliated couple took to Twitter after the incident and requested External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to intervene in the matter.

“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, as per media reports.

“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.

The officer then called Anas and asked him to convert to Hinduism.

“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,” Anas said.

Anas and Tanvi tied the knot in 2007 and have a six-year-old daughter.