Lucknow: An ‘eyewitness’ in the passport case of Anas Siddiqui and Tanvi Sethi, who were allegedly humiliated and shamed by an officer before he rejected their application, on Sunday claimed that he was kidnapped from near his residence but managed to escape.
Kuldeep Singh said he was kidnapped by some men in a Scorpio car from Lucknow near his residence and taken towards Nepal. However, he managed to escape near Lakhimpur and walked down to a police station.
Singh dodged questions related to the kidnapping attempt but claimed that it came just before he was planning to hold a press conference on the passport issue.
Police, however, said Singh has not lodged an FIR yet. A senior Lucknow Police official said, “The claims made by Singh are yet to be verified. We will find out the facts only after he lodges a formal complaint.”
Superintendent of Police, Lakhimpur, Ram Lal Verma said: “According to Singh, he was kidnapped by some men in a Scorpio yesterday (Saturday) afternoon. He was drugged but escaped from the car after regaining consciousness and reached the police station. We have informed Lucknow Police and they are investigating the issue.”
The incident was first reported by News18 when Siddiqui and Seth, who had applied for their passports in Lucknow, were allegedly harassed and shamed by passport officer Vikas Mishra, who then rejected their application. Hours after Seth tweeted to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, secretary of the ministry DM Mulay took cognizance of the matter and assured “appropriate action”.
The official, who was transferred, claimed that he was only doing his duty. He said, “I asked the lady about why she has not endorsed her name in the nikahnama, and asked her to use the name she had mentioned in the Islamic marriage certificate. Anyone can come up with such documents and it can be a danger to our national security. I am a secular person and do not hold any grudges against anyone.”
Mishra found support in Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Rajiv Tuli who sought “justice” for him. Tuli, the Delhi RSS Prachar Pramukh, took to Twitter to say “there is a world apart from the victim card and having connections with higher-ups” and Vikas Mishra, the officer in question, should get “justice”.