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Inter-faith couple passport row: Witness alleges kidnapping

Inter-faith couple passport row: Witness alleges kidnapping

Lucknow, Jun 24(UNI) The row over the passports of an inter-faith couple took a new turn on Sunday when a person claiming to be an eye-witness in the case said that he had been kidnapped by some people just before he was about to address a press conference in Lucknow on Saturday in support of the passport officer.
"Some people in an SUV kidnapped me from Jankipuram extension in the state capital on Saturday at around 1445 hrs and were taking me to Indo-Nepal border through Lakhimpur Kheri. But somehow I managed to escape in Malaini area and reached Sansarpur police station in Lakhimpur Kheri to report about the kidnapping," Kuldeep Singh, the so-called eye-witness in the passport row, told reporters in Lakhimpur Kheri.

Senior Superintendent of Police, Lucknow, Deepak Kumar refused to confirm the kidnapping. "We are investigating the matter and the incident is yet not confirmed," he said. Tanvi Seth and her husband Anas Siddique had alleged that a passport office official in Lucknow, Vikas Mishra, had refused to entertain their forms while allegedly asking the man to convert to Hinduism and woman to use her maiden Hindu name.
UP police will verify the credentials of the couple on Monday following a request from MEA.
Police sources said here that as done in other cases the permanent and temporary addresses of both the applicants would be verified on Monday.

The Lucknow Passport Office had issued the passport to the couple within an hour on Thursday after the dispute arose following communal charge by the couple on the passport office Vikas Mishra.

However, on Friday, the issue went against the couple as it was found that she was staying in Noida and had given application of the passport from Lucknow and she was not ready to disclose her post marriage name. As per the jurisdiction, a native of Noida is eligible to get passport made only from Ghaziabad.

The accused passport officer Vikas Mishra, who has been issued a show-cause notice and transferred to Gorakhpur for the alleged misbehavior with the couple.

Mishra had told the media persons that he had questioned the couple as to why it wanted passports from Lucknow when they have been staying in Noida for the past ten years.
Besides, the woman wants to get the passport on her maiden name when her 'Nikahama' shows it as Sadiya Anas Siddique. She carries identity cards with different names.
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