Lucknow passport officer transferred after shaming woman for marrying Muslim man, asking husband to 'convert'

An inter-faith married couple from Uttar Pradesh were in for a rude shock when an official at the Passport Sewa Kendra in Lucknow on Wednesday allegedly questioned the woman for marrying a Muslim man and asked the husband to "convert" to Hinduism.

The accused passport officer was transferred on Thursday, a day after the incident took place.

In a series of tweets directed at External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Tanvi Seth claimed she was ill-treated by a passport officer named Vikas Mishra because she married a Muslim and did not change her name.

 

According to The QuintSeth, who had applied for a fresh passport, and her husband, Anas Siddiqui, who applied for a reissue, had gone to the regional passport office at Lucknow's Ratan Square on Wednesday when the incident occurred. "The gentleman at the counter (Vikas Mishra), looked at my documents and exclaimed saying ‘There is a problem and your passport can’t be made because apne toh ek Muslim se shaadi ki hai (you have married a muslim man)’," the report quoted Seth as saying.

Seth claimed that though her documents were compete, her file was stopped. Mishra reportedly insulted Siddiqui and asked him to convert to Hinduism in order to ensure his reissue request was processed. "He told Anas to convert to Hinduism for his passport to be renewed. This is a case of moral policing and religious prejudice. I was made to feel insulted; I broke down," Seth wrote in a tweet to Swaraj.

File image of Anas Siddiui with his wife Tanvi Seth. Facebook/infocrowntravels.in

File image of Anas Siddiui with his wife Tanvi Seth. Facebook/infocrowntravels.in

She further wrote: "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."

According to The Times of Indiathe couple also sent an email to Sushma detailing their ordeal. As per a copy of the letter tweeted by Siddiqui, Seth alleged that Mishra said every girl has to change her name after marriage. "He replied by saying ‘it your duty to change your name marriage. Every girl has to do that’,” she wrote in the letter. When she said that she did not want to change her name and that her family had no problem with it, Mishra reportedly sent her to the assistant passport officer (APO).

After Seth left to meet the APO, Mishra asked Siddiqui to convert to Hinduism and asked him to perform the "pheras". “He asked me to convert my religion as Tanvi Seth is mentioned as my wife on my passport documents. He even humiliated me by asking me to convert my name, religion, do phera and said a lot of things related to this,” The Wire quoted Siddiqui as saying.

Errant officer transferred

According to CNN-News18, Mishra was transferred from the Regional Passport Office in Lucknow.

Speaking to ANI on Thursday, an official said, "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."

On Wednesday, responding to the incident, MEA secretary (Consular, Passport, Visa) DM Mulay had said he sought a report from the Regional Passport Office in Lucknow. "Regret for inconvenience. I sought report from @rpolucknow Will take appropriate action," he said in a tweet.

The Regional Passport Office in Lucknow had also assured "proper investigation and appropriate action".


Updated Date: Jun 21, 2018 11:31 AM

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