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Muslim woman told to divorce husband; marry rapist

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Submitted by bhavna (India), Nov 6, 2006 at 15:14

Muslim woman told to divorce husband; marry rapist:-

Muslim woman told to divorce husband; marry rapist
Monday November 6 2006 00:00 IST

KOLKOTA: In a trauma similar to that of Imrana Bibi of Uttar Pradesh, a Muslim woman in West Bengal who was raped at knifepoint by a village youth was asked by local clerics to divorce her husband and marry the rapist.

Rehna, 22, of Kantabagan village in Murshidabad district, about 210 km from here, was raped on the night of July 25 by village youth Mansur Mallick while her husband was away in Bangalore on work, local news reports said.

Later, Rehna was asked by the village salishi (kangaroo court) to divorce her husband and marry the rapist.

Rehna was raped at knife-point in front of her four children. She told the villagers about the incident and informed her husband, a mason, over phone. After the husband, Muluk Sheikh, returned, the village court ruled on July 30 that the rapist had to marry the woman.

When the rapist refused to marry her, the salishi ordered him to pay Rehna a fine of Rs 18,000 but only after her divorce was through. Again, the rapist refused, though the kangaroo court ruled that the money would be to meet her divorce cost and for village development.

Strangely, the village elders branded Rehna a woman of loose morals and she was asked to leave Katabagan for her parental home in another village and return only after she got a divorce.

When Rehna and her husband told the salishi that they wanted to stay together, the arbiters asked them to pay Rs 50,000 or leave. The amount was beyond Sheikh's means.

Rehna went to lodge a complaint with Behrampore police last month but it was not registered. On Thursday, she met Additional Superintendent of Police Shankar Chakraborty and submitted her complaint.

‘‘We will arrest the culprits. Villagers cannot take the law into their own hands," Chakraborty said.

Submitting....

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