A 29-year-old Muslim woman in Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh has alleged that she was forced to undergo Nikah-halala with her father-in-law and was raped by him. According to reports, the police has registered a case against five persons, the woman’s husband, father-in-law, husband’s uncle and two clerics after the woman’s complaint.
According to reports, Bareily zone ADG of police Prem Prakash has stated that the woman is from Moradabad district and she was married to a man from Turtipura area in December 2014. The woman, as per her complaint, was then harassed and abused by her husband and in-laws over dowry and was left at her parents home a year later in December 2015.
The woman has further stated in her complaint that after she was left at her parents home and was asked to return ‘with a car’, her husband had given her ‘triple talaq’ over the phone. The woman had then lodged a complaint of domestic violence and dowry harassment against him and his family members. Almost a year later, in December 2016, both parties had reportedly agreed to compromise and the woman went back to her husband’s house after the intervention of police and family elders.
As per reports, the woman has complained that after she went back to her in-law’s house she was told that since she was away and her husband has given her talaq, she would have to undergo nikah-halala. She was then allegedly forcefully married to her father-in-law under the supervision of her husband’s uncle and two clerics. She was then allegedly locked inside a room with her father-in-law who had raped her. The woman has further stated that she was given triple talaq by her father-in-law the morning after the rape and was then subsequently raped by her husband, following which she became pregnant.
After this, the woman had gone back to her maternal home and in October 2017 she gave birth to a baby boy. She has also alleged that she had earlier registered a complaint at the district magistrate’s office following which she has been receiving death threats from her husband and his family. The woman’s husband, father-in-law, uncle-in-law and the two clerics who allegedly carried out the Nikah-halala have been named in the FIR.
It is notable here that nikah-halala is the practice under which a woman who has been divorced by her husband cannot marry him again unless she is first married to another man, consummates the marriage and then gets a divorce from this new marriage.
The term ‘nikah halala’ means making a nikah (marriage) halal (lawful) under Islamic laws. The practice of triple talaq has been criminalised by the Supreme Court but the bill has been pending in the Rajya Sabha. The Bareilly region of UP is notorious for many cases of triple talaq and nikah halala. Many women have come forward to complain that they had been raped by the family members of their husbands under the pretext of nikah-halala. The central government has stated that they are attempting to ban the practice of polygamy and nikah-halala. There have also been cases where women had been subjected to terrible violence and threats if they oppose the practice.