With all those ads in matrimonial sections demanding ‘very fair’ brides, one would think it’s still the dark ages. And they are.
A newly married man tortured, assaulted, insulted and booted out his second wife because she is of dark skin.
Her in-laws reasoned that if her father had given them ample dowry, they could have forgiven her complexion, but the bride’s family failed them here. On Thursday, the bride’s father Mohammed Meraz Khan (43), a Dongri resident, complained to the top police authorities, demanding action against her in-laws who reside at Shashtri Nagar, RAK Marg, Wadala.
Meraz said he married his daughter Minhaz to Mohammed Farooque Khan on April 25. The in-laws had told him that Farooque was an electrician in Saudi Arabia, earning a handsome salary -- a lie exposed only after the marriage.
Before the wedding, the in-laws saw Minhaz and found her “beautiful”. But the beauty faded for them right after marriage, in the light of her colour, and a ‘paltry’ dowry. On May 8, Minhaz heard her in-laws talking about how their son’s previous wife — who he had left — was more gorgeous than Minhaz.
A downcast Minhaz related the conversation to her father over the phone, and he suggested that she learn to endure these ‘small things’.
A few days later, the in-laws asked Minhaz to chip in Rs 1 lakh for a new apartment house at Antop Hill. Minhaz told them her father, a poor man who barely earned Rs 6,000 a month, could not afford such a fat sum. Hearing that, the in-laws went berserk. They showered her with curses and blows.
“My mother-in-law Zulekha Khan told me that my father should have given dowry lavishly so that my ‘black’ complexion could be overlooked,” said Minhaz, adding that she had already given Rs 1 lakh to them once at the time of the wedding.
On June 21, Farooque assaulted her mercilessly for not being able to provide the money again, she said. He even tried suffocating her with pillow. The torture in her marital home continued ceaselessly.
Meraz said, “My daughter told me about the assault and torture she was subject to many times. And I advised her to tolerate everything since that is her permanent home now.”
On August 2, Minhaz escaped from her in-laws’ house and took shelter at a dargah near Haj House. Two days later, she went to the RAK Marg police to lodge an FIR against her family by law, but the police refused, contenting themselves with noting her statement.
Meanwhile, her husband had registered a ‘missing person’ complaint with them after she had left the house.
Senior Inspector Vilas Wankhede of RAK Marg police said, “I don’t remember Minhaz’s complaint as I receive many complaints in a day. I don’t show haste in filing an FIR. Only after proper investigations do we register it.”
The other side
Minhaz’s husband Farooque said, “All her allegations are false. We never demanded dowry from her. I married her after seeing her and liking her. She left home without any intimation. I had registered a missing complaint in the police station. Later, she appeared at the station and told the police that she did not want to live with me.”