You know something really wrong is going on when a gangster marrying a woman is her ticket to “holding her head up high” in society. And yet, that’s exactly what seems to be happening right here in the city, with jailed gangster Abu Salem, who is facing charges in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case, agreeing to marry a 25-year-old so that she is “not defamed further”.
The woman had threatened to commit suicide if she wasn’t allowed to marry the gangster. File pic
The woman had moved the TADA court, where Salem’s case is being heard, last week for permission to marry the gangster. In her affidavit, she had said that a newspaper report last year of her having married Salem had ‘ruined her life’.
The report had stated that Salem had married her ‘over the phone’ during a train journey when he was being taken by police to Lucknow for a court hearing in January 2014. Salem himself had dubbed the report baseless and the woman had said in her affidavit that subsequent visits to her house by the police had defamed her and ruined her career.
She had said the situation had left her ineligible for marriage and marrying the gangster was the only way out. She had even threatened to commit suicide if she was not given permission.
In a two-page reply to the court yesterday, Salem accepted the proposal and said he appreciated the bold stand taken by the woman. Apologising for the situation he had inadvertently put the woman in, he said he would like to marry her “so that the woman can freely move around and be able to meet and answer all the relatives friends and well-wishers with her head up in the society.”
The reply reads: “I respect the feelings of the woman and also understand her position; I have no intention that will cause her further disrepute and disrespect. I do not intend to be the cause of any further untoward circumstances... as it has been claimed by her that she will commit suicide if she does not get permission to marry me.
“I was unaware of the fact that the woman had to face such things in the name of investigation. I apologise from the bottom of my heart to the woman for whatever sufferings she had to undergo because of my name getting tagged with her.
“I appreciate the bold stand taken by the woman of seeking permission from this honourable court to get married to me before the registrar under the Special Marriage Act. The fact that the woman has approached this honourable court shows that she has been hurt and she intends to get married to me and I also, with great respect to her feelings and character, intend to go ahead with the said proposal.
“I am not doing any favour to her by accepting her proposal but (I am accepting it) with great respect and gratitude. I don’t want her to be further defamed because of me or my name. I also undertake to care for her in all respects once she gets married to me and that she will not be further defamed as officially she will be my wife.
“I want to complete the formalities of marriage at the earliest so that the woman can freely move around and will be able to meet and answer all her relatives, friends and well-wishers with her head up in the society. I, with folded hands, must humbly request Your Honour to kindly consider and grant us the said permission.”