A man from Haryana and a woman from the US who got married in Ghaziabad on July 25 were made to shuttle between two police stations in Ghaziabad for several hours when they tried to lodge a police complaint about their lost passports and official documents.
Naven Sihag, 27, a certified gym trainer from Hisar, married 23-year-old Victoria Lynn Harnandez, a US citizen he met online in 2011, at an Arya Samaj Mandir in Ghaziabad on July 25. The two had gone to the Ghaziabad tehsil for marriage registration when they lost the documents, including passports and even Harnandez’s multiple-entry visa documents. Sihag had come all the way to Ghaziabad as someone had suggested that it would be easier to complete formalities for marriage registration here.
“We lost the documents on July 25 and looked for them the next day, but could not find them. We came back to Ghaziabad on July 27, but were made to shuttle between two police stations as the police personnel were citing jurisdiction issues about the place where we lost the documents. For more than four hours, officials at neither of the two police stations – Sihani Gate or Kotwali – were ready to accept the police complaint. The two of us kept sitting at these police stations, requesting the personnel several times to lodge our complaint,” Sihag said.
“It was only after we called up the superintendent of police that our complaint was stamped by the Sihani Gate police station. We were both surprised by the behaviour. Some police officials also told us that there will be an inquiry as my wife is a US citizen and it may land me in trouble. I told them to go ahead and at least start the process so that I can apply for her passport and other documents on the basis of the complaint,” he added.
As a way out of their situation, the couple had looked up the phone number of Salmantaj Patil, superintendent of police (city), Ghaziabad. After they spoke to him, he finally called up the Sihani Gate police station and the police there acknowledged the receipt of the couple’s handwritten complaint with an official stamp.
“They had given me a call about the issue and I immediately directed the officials to lodge their complaint about the missing documents,” Patil said.
Harnandez, who is from Miramar in Florida, US, expressed her helplessness about the time she and Sihag were trying to get their complaint registered.
“I felt uncomfortable and felt that they were not cooperating with us to get our complaint registered...I also felt that I should have been taken more seriously because I am an American citizen and no one there spoke or understood my language. But now we have to go through the trouble of getting new passports and we cannot enjoy time together after marriage because we are stressed out about this situation,” she said.
Hernandez completed her associate degree and will now be pursuing her bachelors while working part time in the US. She had visited India last year and finally arrived on July 20 this year again to get married. She is supposed to return to the US on August 18. However, arranging for her documents in such a short time is now a major problem for the newlyweds.