NEW DELHI: It has been two years since the passage of the triple talaq law — titled Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019 but cases of torture and violence still corner out in our society.
The phone beeped with this message from 23-year-old Nazia's (victim) brother, Mohammad Zahid saying, "My sister Nazia, whom you tried to speak to last night about her case... I wanted to inform you that she has died...."
Ten hours earlier, Nazia had been lying on her bed, barely able to move and keep her eyes open when this reporter had briefly seen her. Unable to speak, her mother, 60-year-old Sawra, went on to explain the dowry demands, domestic violence and trauma her daughter was subjected to in her eight-month-long marriage. The final act of harassment was be ing given a divorce through instant triple talaq (talaq-e-biddat), a practice that was declared illegal through a law in 2019.
"They used to beat her up constantly and treat her in an inhuman manner. They would not give her food to eat or let her use the fan or cooler. They also made her have a bath in cold water. She developed infections and eventually needed surgery for her stomach too. Through all this, he would threaten us that if we went to the police, he would divorce her. Not going to the police didn't help, as on 28 June earlier this year he gave her triple talaq anyway," Sawra says, sobbing.
Meanwhile, Quint spoke to her family in detail, reached out to police officials, and spoke to the accused himself. While the accused - Abid - has claimed that the allegations against him are baseless, DCP Jaipur City (North) Paris Anil Deshmukh said, "Now that Nazia has died, another case has been registered against the accused under Section 304 (dowry death, death of wife within seven years of marriage) of the Indian Penal Code".
"The man would keep asking for dowry, so we paid Rs 50,000 to them after marriage. After barely one month, the violence began. They would make her starve, they would not let me talk to my daughter and this went on and on," said the victim's mother.
During Ramzan this year, Nazia was unwell and Abid was in no mood to take care of his wife. He dropped her at her mother's home and said he was not interested in her anymore, Sawra says. She added that he again threatened them that if this went to the police, he would give Nazia triple talaq.