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Was following procedure, says Lucknow passport officer on shaming allegations by inter-faith couple

SNS | New Delhi |

Lucknow passport officer Vikas Mishra, who got embroiled in a major controversy for allegedly harassing an inter-faith couple in the Passport Seva Kendra in Lucknow, on Thursday rubbished the allegations levelled by the couple and defended his actions saying that he was only following procedure.

On Wednesday, the couple, Mohammad Anas Siddiqui and Tanvi Seth, had alleged that the officer asked Anas to convert to Hinduism and pulled up the wife for changing her name.

However, Mishra said that he only followed the procedure and Tanvi had a different name in her ‘nikahnama’, or wedding certificate, compared with her other documents, which is why he asked for more proof.

The officer, who has now been transferred to Gorakhpur from Lucknow, denied allegations of the couple saying that he didn’t ask Anas to convert his religion.

“She (Tanvi) was showing nikahnama that had her name as ‘Shazia Anas’ but had said on documents that she has not changed her name. Why did she not endorse this on paper? I asked her to endorse her ‘nikah’ name, but she said she did not want to do that which is when I sent her to the higher official,” said Mishra.

Also Read | After humiliation, inter-faith couple receives passports

“I myself have done an inter-caste marriage. I am not communal and respect and sit with people of all religions,” he added.

Earlier on Thursday, the couple received their passports from the regional passport officer Piyush Verma in Lucknow.

Verma said a show-cause notice has been issued to the officer and he has been transferred with immediate effect.

“We have also sent the report to the Ministry of External Affairs for further action,” Verma told reporters in Lucknow, assuring necessary action against the official.

The RPO expressed regret over the incident and gave an assurance that it would not be repeated.

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.

The humiliated couple took to Twitter on Wednesday after the incident and requested External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to intervene in the matter.