Lucknow regional passport officer Peeyush Verma gives Tanvi Seth her passport.Lucknow regional passport officer Peeyush Verma gives Tanvi Seth her passport.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The passport official who humiliated the couple was transferred

A Noida-based couple on Thursday were issued passports, a day after they narrated on Twitter how they were subjected to humiliation by an official at the Regional Passport Office in Lucknow.

The passport official who allegedly shamed and humiliated the inter-faith couple asking the woman to adopt a Muslim surname and her husband to convert to Hinduism while rejecting their passports, has been transferred from his post, after the issue took social media by storm.

A show cause notice was also issued against the official identified as Vikas Mishra, said regional passport officer Peeyush Verma, promising action against him.

The issue came to light when Tanvi Seth reached out to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday through Twitter, complaining that she has faced harassment at the passport office for having a Muslim husband and was chided for not changing her surname after marriage.

While Ms. Seth had gone there for a new passport, her husband Anas Siddiqui wanted to renew his.

“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,” Ms. Seth’s Twitter post read.

Mr. Siddiqui said the passport official asked him to change his name into a Hindu one and also take “pheras.”

“It is my personal choice to choose a name I want to 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,” Ms. Seth wrote tagging Ms. Swaraj.

The couple have been married for 12 years and they have a six-year old daughter.

Lucknow regional passport officer Peeyush Verma gives Anas Siddiqui his passport.

Lucknow regional passport officer Peeyush Verma gives Anas Siddiqui his passport.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

According to Ms. Seth, the official not only rejected her application but also put her husband’s application on hold. “He spoke very loudly. I did not have that big a problem that my passport was being rejected, the way he spoke to me, his hand gestures were very attacking,” she said. She also claimed another official told her husband that her papers were complete.

After the matter escalated, the couple’s applications were processed and passports were issued on Thursday. “They looked at our documents and issued passports to us in no time,” Ms. Seth said adding that the official who handled her papers on Thursday apologised for Wednesday’s episode.

“The way we have been treated today has been reflective of the impression we had about the 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,” Ms. Seth said.