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Agonised women demand trans-national laws to bring absconding NRI husbands

Agonised women demand trans-national laws to bring absconding NRI husbands

New Delhi: Parminder Kaur (name changed) says she had a fairy tale wedding in 2015 and the next 40 days were the best of her life.

But after her husband left for Canada to resume his studies, things changed. Her in-laws regularly assaulted her - both verbally and physically - and demanded a dowry of Rs one lakh every month from her parents.

"They told my parents they need the money to feed me and when my parents refused to pay it they used to abuse me," she said. Then one day, her in-laws quietly fled to Canada and that was the last she heard from them or her husband who remarried after giving ex-parte divorce to 19-year-old Parminder.

Now, she and some other women who had the same plight want special transnational laws that could make extradition of absconding husbands possible.

Shilpa (name changed), 30, was working with an IT company before marrying in 2010 and migrating to the US.

"As soon as I landed in California, my husband took away my documents and money. He raped me regularly before throwing me out on the street. I was left with nothing and was forced to return," she said.

She now lives with her eight-year-old daughter in Delhi. She lodged a complaint with the police but her husband has not returned since.

"I recently saw on social media that he remarried. How is this fair and why is he not being held accountable," she asked. Smriti (name changed) was another victim who was abandoned by her husband in Melbourne, following which she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

"I was diagnosed with PTSD and still suffer from it. This is what abandonment does to you. You live in the aftermath of sexual assault, deceit from a person you loved the most," she said.

"That is compounding the agony everyday that how can these men have absolutely normal lives while destroying the lives of not only women but also their families. No body is prosecuted," she rued.

Women should be able to actually see that men have some kind of stigma associated with their presence because right now the common problem is that these men are living their lives while women are suffering, Smriti said.

Parminder, Smriti and Shilpa feel transnational laws can give women like them some level of justice.

They demanded that there is also a need to bring larger group of offences like rape, assault, fraud and deceit under the 498A of IPC (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty), that could lead to extradition of the absconders possible. At present, abandonment of wives are registered under 498A of IPC (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) and 406 (criminal breach of trust). PTI

Uzmi Athar

Uzmi Athar

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