Vikas Mishra, the officer at Lucknow’s passport office in question in the alleged harassment of an interfaith couple, has claimed that the woman was asked to change her name on passport documents as she carries a different name on her Nikaahnama (the document of marriage in Islam). Mishra said that he asked Tanvi to get the name ‘Shadia Anas’ endorsed, as mentioned on her Nikahnama, reported ANI. “Asked Tanvi Seth to get the name ‘Shadia Anas’ endorsed as it was mentioned on her Nikahnama, but she refused. We have to do thorough checks to ensure no person is changing their name to obtain a passport,” said the officer who has been transferred after a complaint was filed against him.
Earlier, the woman took to Twitter and alleged that Mishra asked her to change her name and religion in order to get a passport. She lodged a complaint with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. “Ma’am I never ever imagined that in a place like a passport office we would have people who are moral policing the citizens. He dint just put my passport on hold he even put my husband’s @5220manas passport on hold. This is clear grudge, (sic)” Tanvi wrote on Twitter tagging Sushma Swaraj.
Expressing her shock, Tanvi alleged that she “never felt so insulted in the last 12 years of my marriage with my husband”. Tanvi, who is married to Anas Siddiqui, said that
it was her personal choice to choose a name after marriage. “This is our family matter and last thing I expected to hear at the passport office was it is your duty to change your name after marriage,” she added in the tweet
Later, speaking to media on the issue, Tanvi’s husband, Anas Siddiqui levelled serious allegations on the officials saying that he was asked to change his religion and take ‘pheras’ as per Hindu rituals. “I was told I should change my religion & take ‘pheras’,” he said at a press conference held at the Regional Passport Office in Lucknow on Thursday.
Also present in the meeting, Piyush Verma said a show cause notice has been issued to the officer and he has been transferred with immediate effect. Verma said passports were issued to the couple, Mohammad Anas Siddiqui and Tanvi Seth after he met them in his office in Lucknow. “Action will also be taken. We regret the incident and will ensure it is not repeated,” he had said.