Passport officer in Lucknow transferred for asking Muslim applicant to ‘convert’ to Hinduism


A passport officer in Lucknow has now been transferred after he allegedly asked a Muslim man, married to Hindu a woman, to convert to Hinduism.

The issue had snowballed into a raging controversy after one Mohammad Anas Siddiqui complained of being humiliated by the passport officer, identified as Vikas Mishra, when he visited the passport office to get the passports for himself and his Hindu wife Tanvi Seth renewed.

Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj too was contacted on Twitter. The ministry of external affairs has also sought a report from the Lucknow office about the unsavoury episode from yesterday.

Regional Passport Office in Lucknow had promised to investigate the matter thoroughly. It had said, “We assure proper investigation and appropriate action. We will contact you tomorrow positively.”

“We regret the incident and will ensure it is not repeated,” said Lucknow’s regional passport officer, said ANI.

On Thursday, the passport office tweeted the photo of passports being delivered to the couple. It said, “As promised, Regional Passport Officer met Mrs Tanvi and Mr Anas and redressed the concern today. Passports have been delivered.”

After getting her passport, Tanvi said, “We hope it doesn’t happen to anyone else. In the 11 years of our marriage, we never faced such a situation. The officials have apologised and we got our passports.”

Tanvi had earlier told Times of India, “When I reached counter C5, the official, Vikas Mishra, told me there was an issue with my file since I had married a Muslim, and yet retained my maiden name. He shouted at me and insulted me in front of everyone and sent me to the office of an additional passport officer, who was sympathetic to me and asked me to reach the main branch in Gomtinagar on Thursday.”

The latest episode involving Anas and Tanvi shows just how proactive External Affairs Minister Swaraj has been in addressing the grievances of citizens under her ministry. Only a few days ago, she had asked for strict action against an officer for the delay in issuing a passport to child on the grounds of conducting a police verification.

Taking to Twitter an angry Swaraj had said that the existing rules did not warrant a police verification against a child while applying for a new passport. She wrote, “Police verification is not required for children. I have asked the @CPVIndia to give her the passport without police verification and take strict action against the concerned officer.”

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