RSS leader seeks justice for passport official who allegedly humiliated inter-faith couple; officer denies charges

Adding to the controversy that has erupted after an interfaith couple alleged they were discriminated against at Lucknow passport office, an RSS functionary has demanded justice for the accused officer.

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's Rajiv Tuli on Friday took to Twitter to demand 'justice' for Vikas Mishra, a Passport Seva Kendra official in Lucknow, who was transferred after an interfaith couple complained that he humiliated them and put their passport application on hold.

The matter pertains to the complaint of Mohammad Anas Siddiqui and Tanvi Seth, who have been married for 12 years, and had applied for a passport at the Lucknow Passport Seva Kendra.

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

Tuli, who is the Delhi RSS Prachar Pramukh, took to Twitter on Friday to demand a proper inquiry and asked the department to check the CCTV footage. He said that Mishra, if found guilty, must be sacked, not transferred. But if the complainant woman was found to be lying, her passport should be revoked and Mishra's transfer order should be cancelled, said the RSS leader.

Mishra also defended himself by saying that he was a secular person and had himself married outside his caste. He cited some technical problems in the application as the reason behind his actions.

Mishra said that he had told Seth that her 'nikahnama' showed her name as Shazia Anas, which should be endorsed in her file.

"For this she refused. If she had consented... we would have sent it to the 'A' section for data modification. We have to see which person is taking the passport in what name. . There is documentary proof, how can we ignore that. I am secular and I have myself had an inter-caste marriage," he told the media.

The matter came to light after the complainant woman tweeted to Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday, and Mishra was transferred a day later to Gorakhpur.

Siddiqui told reporters in Lucknow that his was a case of re-issuance while his wife was seeking a new passport. "The official's behaviour at the counter was inappropriate...I was called by him and asked if my wife's name is Tanvi Seth...he asked me to change my religion, name, take 'pheras' and only then things will be done."

According to Siddiqui, the official put his passport on hold and sent him to the assistant passport officer "who was very understanding".

"I felt the official had some personal opinion about such marriages and could not keep them aside," Seth said, hoping that such incidents do not happen with others. Regional Passport Officer (RPO) Piyush Verma said a show cause notice has been issued to the officer and he has been transferred with immediate effect.

Verma said the passports were issued to the couple on  Thursday after he met them in his office in Lucknow.

"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.

Responding to complaints from Siddiqui and Seth, secretary, consular, passport and visa (CPV) division, DM Mulay said he had asked for a report from the RPO and would take appropriate action.

With inputs from agencies


Updated Date: Jun 22, 2018 22:56 PM

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