Srinagar, Dec 17: A girl from West Bengal claimed that an Anantnag man who is father of five children deceived her saying he was unmarried.
Sadiya Jan from West Bengal says that a man from Anantnag Mohammad Akbar was doing business in West Bengal.
“He met me and later told my parents he wanted to marry me. My family accepted and we married. After bringing me to Kashmir, I came to know he has already one wife and is father of five children,” she told news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS).
“He kept me at a rented accommodation in Rajbagh but was being treated unwell. I tolerated all these things because I was stranger here,” she said, who is now mother of a baby.
“He left me and I don’t know where he is. I have to seek money from neighbours to feed me and my family,” she added.
This is not an isolated case. Hundreds of non-local girls from Muslim dominated areas of West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and various other states have married Kashmiri men over the years.
Rukhsana Jan, a resident of Sapual district of Bihar married to a man in South Kashmir three years before.
A friend of Rukhsana’s uncle approached her family and showed them a picture of a young and handsome Kashmiri boy as their daughter’s prospective groom.
They were told this person is a businessman and will keep her happy. However, after arriving in Kashmir, she was shocked.
“They told me that I have to marry a man who seemed then 40, and has a big lump on his back which has made him unattractive to local girls,” she said, who is now 21.
“Non-local brides are not treated well here. My husband would often beat me. If a local bride is facing domestic violence, she leaves for her parents home who then approach concerned authorities. But we (non local girls) have nowhere to go. Who will listen to us,” Rukhsana asked.
Another girl Aliya Bano, 25, a resident of West Bengal’s Murshadibad area was brought to Kashmir five years ago on a promise by an agent that she will be married with a young boy and in a well-off family.
“I married a person in Srinagar who is double my age. I accepted it as I had no option being a stranger here. But over the years, I am facing ill-treatment by in-laws. My husband easily loses his cool then starts beating me,” Aliya said, who is mother of two children, son and daughter.
For the last five years, she has not seen her parents since she was brought to Kashmir. “I don’t know whether my parents are alive as I don’t have any contact with them. My husband is not allowing me to go native place saying I won’t return,” she said.
Rukhsana and Aliya are not rare cases. There are hundreds of girls who have married to men in Kashmir, much older them or suffering from disabilities. They are not treated here properly.