'Women are ready to be sold for as little as Rs 2,000'
In a month-long investigation, Bhupen Patel and Kranti Vibhute went undercover to reveal a dark world where girls as young as 15 are sold to rich Arabs for a few days to be their 'wives' and qazis perform sham marriages to make a quick buck
December 20, 2012
Location: Office of Qazi Mohammad Zakaria Oamar at Do Tanki
After having toiled for nearly 20 days, we made the second major breakthrough in the operation. This time one of the local informers took us to the address of one Qazi at Do Tanki, near Nagpada who performs nikahs of girls with Arabs.
At the entrance of the dingy lane in Nagpada we saw a board of Qazi Mohmmad Zakaria Oamar, referred as Chief Qazi of Mumbai. In his office, the Qazi is usually referred as ‘qazi sahab’ by visitors. Just as we were about to enter the room, we spotted Mumtaz too sitting at one of the corners of the 10x10 ft room. Thinking that it may hamper the operation, we decided to wait outside till Mumtaz left the office. Here is what happened in the Qazi’s office:
Ashraf: Unko bula loo kal?
Zakaria: Jumma baad mein.
Ashraf: Masla aisa hai ki unko yaha ko koi nahi chahiye.
Zakaria: Theek hai kal jumma baad aao.
Ashraf: Aapka naam?
Zakaria: Mohmmad Zakaria Oamar. Passport hai? Passport to nahi hoga?
Bhupen: Passport hai na.
Zakaria: Jayegi bahar shaadi karke?
Bhupen: Nahi woh char din ka mamla hota hai na. (Referring to short term nikah). Hai kya aisa koi zehen mein?
Zakaria: Haan, hai to.
Ashraf: Theek hai teen baje aate hai kal.
December 21, 2012
Location: Qazi’s office at Do Tanki
To gain Zakaria’s confidence, we escorted Shabnam (MiD DAY reporter Kranti) with us for the meeting. And this time it helped.
Zakaria opened up giving us the minutest details of the trade. He said that the easy availability of women for the Arabs has spoilt them. Hotel Rajdoot and Pals Hotel at Cotton Green have turned into a den of such activities, where women queue up every evening to be picked by the Arabs.
Zakaria said that it was due to this abundance in choice that the rates of women had decreased drastically. He also narrated that the women who went on a Khadama visa were increasingly exploited by the Arabs. The women were hired as contract labour and the Arabs sexually exploited them. Zakaria even mentioned that he had a beeline of Arabs who come from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Dubai and Oman for whom he arranges temporary wives.
Zakaria: Bambai ki hai? (Referring to Shabnam)
Bhupen: Mumbra ki.
Zakaria: Bahar nahi jayegi. (Shabnam nods her head in negative)…
Ashraf: Kuwari hai. (Virgin)
Zakaria: Kunwari ke liye jab koi shaadi wala aayega tab hoga. (On realising that it would delay the operation we quickly changed our statement and claimed that Shabnam had an affair a few years back and convinced Zakaria to find an Arab for her)
Zakaria: Party aati hai tab baat hoti hai. Saamne saamne. Do din… char din… paanch din. Aur burkha pehenke aao. Kya hai ayenge jayenge dekhne walo ki nazar mein aa jayenge. Humlogo ne Arbo ko bigaad ke rakha hua hai. Rajdoot aur Pals hotel mein, shaam ke waqt aisehi ladkiyan bhari padi hoti hai. Woh dedh hazaar do hazar mein rehne ke liye tayar hai. Unka mijaz bigad diya hai. Jab unko dedh hazar mein milega to mere paas kyu ayenge. Ab woh pehle waali baat nahi rahi. Zyada karke sab cheez apna bhaav gira diye.
Bhupen: Lekin kitna waqt lagega. Aate rehte hai aapke paas? (referring to Arabs)
Zakaria: Aate hi rehte hai. Aa gaye to line se aagye kabhi kabhi do do din nahi aate.
Bhupen: Lekin mahine bhar se pehle hoga?
Zakaria: Mahine bhar se pehle hi ho jayega. Jaise ayenge phone karunga ghanta do ghanta pehle.
Shabnam: Lekin khula ho jayega na?
Bhupen: Woh pooch rahi hai talaq ho jayega na.
Zakaria: Arey who salam de ke chale jaate hai.
Bhupen: Talaq ke liye idhar hi aate hai?
Zakaria: Zaban se bol diya, ho gaya.