A controversy was sparked on twitter wherein a woman named Tanvi Seth tweeted to Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj that she was harassed by passport officer Vikas Mishra. She also claimed that she and her husband were insulted and given moral lectures by him as they have an inter religion marriage.
Following this, officer Vikas Mishra was transferred from Lucknow office to Gorakhpur Regional Passport Office. Soon thereafter, Tanvi Seth and her husband Anas Siddiqui were issued passports. As reported in The Economics Times, MEA Secretary DM Mulay took cognizance of the matter and assured appropriate action. Expressing regret over the inconvenience faced by the Lucknow couple, Regional Passport Officer Peeyush Verma said that they should not have been subjected to such harassment. “As all the documents of the couple were complete, we have delivered the passports to them today itself,” Verma said.
Although Sushma Swaraj did not acknowledge Tanvi Anas’ tweet but the passport being issued to her gave an impression that MEA at higher level might have intervened in this issue. She, being the head of the ministry, was held responsible for that. However, she tweeted that she was out of the country on official tour.
I was out of India from 17th to 23rd June 2018. I do not know what happened in my absence. However, I am honoured with some tweets. I am sharing them with you. So I have liked them.
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) June 24, 2018
Now coming to the facts:
- Tanvi Seth is married to Anas Siddiqui. But she wanted her passport in name of Tanvi Seth as mentioned on her Aadhar Card and whereas the name mentioned on her nikaahnama is Shadia Anas.
- The passport officer on duty, Vikas Mishra caught this fact and told her passport can’t be issued with different names on different documents as this is a discrepancy under law.
- Police has verified that she has been living in Noida with her husband which means that she should have applied at the Ghaziabad Passport office. But she had applied for passport from Lucknow by giving her in-laws’ address as address proof. As per the norms, a person should be living on such address for a period of at least one year.
- The most suspicious twist came in this whole story was when the eye-witness to this incident alleged that he was kidnapped and escaped from Nepal border. As per his account, he did not feel that the officer misbehaved with the lady.
All the above facts suggest something really strange connection in this case.
It is to be noted that,
- Passport is a very important document that is the proof of nationality of a person. Thus, it is of utmost importance that all the details mentioned therein are true and are verified diligently by the passport officer.
- Having multiple names on different official documents can cause major security breach as it is possible that the same person can apply for passport with another name.
- Since she had changed her name (not just surname) for/after marriage, then why was she applying the passport in her maiden name? Although women need not change their maiden names on passports but this is a case of complete name change with no proof of such change.
- Media has been reporting the couple as ‘Inter-faith’ couple just to garner more attention, but when she married in name of Sadiya means she has already changed her faith and name.
What was unfortunate in this whole case was that an officer on duty bore the heat of this victim card drama created by the couple. Vikas Mishra got transferred from Lucknow office. His diligence made him pay the price. The main stream media who barely checks the fact, created such pressure that a man for punished for performing the duty as per laws while a woman played victim card and got away with it.
This is what Vikas Mishra had to say:
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:Vikas Mishra,officer who allegedly harassed Tanvi Seth at Lucknow passport Off. pic.twitter.com/biQkBcghrJ
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) June 21, 2018
As per latest reports Tanvi/Sadiya’s passport may get seized by police as her address proof needed as per passport guidelines is incorrect. In the light of the facts and law, it must be cancelled. But who will question the bias attitude of mainstream media who just run narratives that suit their agenda of garnering TRPs?
Without much proceedings, Vikas Mishra got his job and goodwill under threat, who will take responsibility of that mental trauma?
The aware twitteraties, however, made sure that Sushma Swaraj gets this message loud and clear about this wrong doing.
The Passport Officer has stated his story so clearly. I wonder if the Passport has been issued to Shadia Anas aka Tanvi Seth in violation of Rules that too on Ministry’s intervention. This is so shameful. pic.twitter.com/NqHSQmaZpd
— Piyush Kulshreshtha (@ThinkersPad) June 22, 2018
Eyewitness who was present when this Tanvi Seth aka Sadia Hasan incident happened debunked her story
Shame on @SushmaSwaraj @rpolucknow for transferring Vikash Mishra who was doing his job honestly pic.twitter.com/vgmgCCNlYp
— Rishi Bagree ?? (@rishibagree) June 21, 2018
This whole incident proved again that how easy it is to play the minority and women victim card in Bharat. While mainstream media creates undue pressure without much verification, it is the dutiful people who suffer for being just and equal.
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