Couple Harassed Over Religion Get Passports After Tweeting Sushma Swaraj

Tanvi Seth said she was asked to change name and religion at the Lucknow passposrt office because she was married to a Muslim. She tweeted her complaint to foreign minister Sushma Swaraj

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Tanvi Seth said they were harassed at the Lucknow passport office and tweeted Sushma Swaraj.


Lucknow: 

Highlights

  1. Noida couple said they were humiliated at the Lucknow passport office
  2. I was told passport can't be made because I have married a Muslim: woman
  3. Tanvi Seth said she was told to change her name in all documents
A couple from Noida, who has an inter-faith marriage, alleged that they faced harassment at the local passport office and the woman was asked to change name and religion. In a series of tweets to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Tanvi Seth narrated the incident and asked her to intervene. The officer has been transferred.

The couple, who needed to renew one passport and sought a new one, alleged that they were humiliated during the interview on Wednesday by the passport officer. "I was told my passport cannot be made because I have married a Muslim and did not change my name. I asked what I should do now. So I was told to change my name in all documents," Ms Seth told NDTV.  

The officer, she said, spoke to her "in a very humiliating manner". "A lot of people were staring at me because that officer was very loud. I was in tears."

Calling it a case of "moral policing", she said the officer has put both their passports on hold.
   
Ms Seth's husband, Anas Sidiqui, said the officer "asked me to change my name, my religion... He said one of us has to change our name or religion".

"There is no relation between religion and passport," passport officials told the media at a press conference later. "We finished the investigation within 1 hour. We have transferred the officer," the officials said.

The officer at the centre of controversy said the woman had submitted a nikahnaama (marriage document), which had a different name. He said although the new rules say a marriage certificate is not required, he could not ignore the document since it was placed before him.

"I am not a communal person. I have an inter-caste marriage myself... I agree that the nikahnaama was not required for passport, but because the document was shown to me, it was my duty to get it endorsed," Vikas Mishra told reporters.

Married in 2007, Tanvi Seth and Anas Siqqiqui have a 7 year old daughter. Both work in Noida-based multinational firms.


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