LUCKNOW: Tanvi Seth and her husband Mohammad Anas Siddiqui today got a warm welcome at the same Lucknow Passport office where yesterday they were publicly humiliated, snubbed and shouted at by an official who even went ahead asking Anas to convert to Hinduism if the two wanted their passports.
Soon after the incident on Wednesday, the couple had tweeted External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office detailing their ordeal to seek their intervention. Several media outlets also promptly flashed the incident. This all seems to have brought good news for the couple on Thursday when they got the passports. Not just that, the officials also apologized for the misconduct. Meanwhile, the officer who showed rude, communal behavior with the couple has been transferred to Gorakhpur.
In a series of tweets, she recounted today’s encounter at the passport office and thanked Sushma Swaraj saying the fast action strengthened her impression about the minister.
“Since the time we walked in to the RPO office this morning we were treated very well by Mr. Piyush Verma and all the officials. They apologised for the misconduct of the official yesterday. They looked at our documents and issued passports to us in no time. The way we have been treated today has been reflective of the impression we had about ministry of external affairs. They have been absolutely empathetic and caring about the way we felt and our issues from yesterday. Thank you for the timely action and understanding towards our feelings and issue. I am extremely satisfied with what has happened,” Tanvi tweeted around 12:15 PM on Thursday and tagged @SushmaSwaraj @rpolucknow and @CPVIndia .
The couple of 12 years in marriage, who had applied for their passports in Lucknow, were publicly humiliated and shouted at by a passport officer before he rejected their application here on Wednesday.
“@SushmaSwaraj hello ma’am I type this tweet 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. He spoke to me very rudely and was loud enough for others to hear while discussing my case. I have never felt so harassed ever before. The other workers at the office acknowledged his rude demeanour,” Tanvi had tweeted Wednesday afternoon.
Anas married Tanvi in 2007 and the couple have a six-year-old daughter. The woman did not change her name after the marriage. Both are said to be working at an MNC in Noida.
Anas was also humiliated by the officer.
“My wife, Tanvi, said that we don’t want to change the name and our family doesn’t have a problem with our names. Then the passport officer asked her to go to the APO office and that he is sending her file to the APO. Mr Mishra then called me and started humiliating me. He said that I will have to convert to Hinduism else my marriage won’t be accepted. He asked, ‘You have to take the ‘pheras’ and get converted to our religion, will you do so?’” narrated an angry Anas.
After getting the passport, Tanvi said: “The issue is not with what Mr Mishra (passport officer Vikas Mishra) questioned or the passport. It’s the way he questioned and got personal and attacked us. Me and my husband never had issues with the formalities, we had issues with the kind of things he said to us and the way he spoke to us and specifically his volume. His statements were derogatory. No government official can tell me what my duty is as a woman and raise his voice at me. He tried misusing his position.”
“It’s not a must this has been stated by @rpolucknow, all you need is an application stating you would like to use your maiden name and want your husband’s name on passport. This was informed to us by the APO yesterday too.”
The verified Twitter handle of Regional Passport Office, Lucknow has tweeted photos of an officer handing passports to Tanvi and Anas with the comment, “As promised, Regional Passport Officer met Mrs Tanvi and Mr Anas and redressed the concern today. Passports have been delivered,” and tagged @CPVIndia (Secretary for Consular, Passport, Visa and Overseas Indian Affairs; Ministry of External Affairs New Delhi).