Lucknow:The Lucknow Passport Office, in a swift move, has ordered action into the ordeal of a couple, who was questioned by a passport officer on their inter-faith marriage and refused to issue them a passport here on Wednesday.
After the matter was raised before the Union external minister Sushma Swaraj by the couple, the Lucknow passport office reacted swiftly and transferred the passport officer concerned Vikas Mishra and issued a show cause notice to him.
"The matter has been resolved and the couple issued a new passport on Thursday. The officer has been transferred and a show cause notice issued to him," Regional Passport Officer Piyush Verma told reporters in the presence of the couple-- Anas Siddique and Tanvi Seth-- at the passport office.
Mr Verma said that they have sent a report to the External Affairs ministry about the incident and the action taken. "We sincerely apologise to the couple for the incident and assure the people that such incidents would not be repeated in future," Mr Verma said while stressing that several counselling sessions have been provided to passport office employees and officers to play a friendly role with the people applying for passport.
The couple, showing their new passports, also expressed their satisfaction over the action taken by the passport office."The harassment we underwent at the passport office yesterday was very disturbing which forced us to tweet our problem to the External Ministry. Thankfully, everyone listened to our problem and today we got our new passport. It was new passport for myself and a renewed one for Anas," said Tanvi to the mediapersons.
Narrating about the Wednesday ordeal, Tanvi said when they reached the counter no 5, the official Vikash Mishra said that there is an issue in the file to issue her a new passport as she had married a Muslim and retained her maiden name. The officer also insulted me and even asked by husband to convert to Hinduism if he wanted his passport renewed," she said.
Later, they met an additional passport officer, who was more sympathetic and asked them to come to the main office on Thursday.Tanvi married to computer engineer Anas Siddique around 12 year back has a six-year-old daughter.
Later, Tanvi wrote the detail through five tweets to the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. She wrote, "I tweet this 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 married a Muslim and not changed my name ever."
She also tweeted, "I 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."
In response Vijay Dwivedi, the additional private secretary to Swaraj, asked D M Mulay, the secretary to passport, visa and overseas Indian affairs at MEA, to look into the issue.
Mr Mulay later replied to Tanvi, "I sought report from regional passport office Lucknow. Will take appropriate action."(UNI)