| Mohini Vinay in Calcutta on Tuesday. Picture by Pabitra Das
Dead in Jharkhand, but alive in Calcutta.
A 19-year-old Hindu girl and her 22-year-old Muslim husband, who hid in three different states for the past year to escape parental wrath, have surfaced in Calcutta, after local dailies in Jharkhand reported the girl’s murder.
The Jharkhand police, however, have already arrested six members of the groom’s family on charges of abduction and possible murder.
Mohini Vinay is now not only worried about her own security in the city, but is equally concerned over the fate of her father-in-law and five other relatives, who are in judicial custody on the charge of “kidnapping and murdering” her.
All hell broke loose last year at Madhupur after Mohini told her parents that she was in love with an IT professional, Fayaz Ahmed, working with a firm at Chattarpur, Orissa. “No, we will never allow you to marry him…We cannot accept his family,” father Satyanarayan Yadav told Mohini.
However, the girl was not to be cowed and continued to meet Fayaz secretly, against the wishes of her parents. On March 26 last year, Mohini managed to sneak out of the house with the help of a friend and fled to Chattarpur.
The couple married secretly and Fayaz persuaded his family to accept her as his wife. Fayaz’s parents relented and asked him to bring the bride home.
However, they were not allowed to live happily ever after. Mohini’s parents came to meet her and told Fayaz’s parents that they would take her home and send her back after a proper “bidai ceremony”.
“Both Fayaz and his father agreed to send her home. But that was a great mistake, as Mohini’s relatives later threatened to kill Fayaz if she did not press charges of abduction and torture against him and his family. She was kept confined to her room and not allowed to step out,” said lawyer Abhijit Sarkar, who, along with lawyers Raja Basu Choudhury and Jishnu Choudhury, is handling the case on behalf of the couple in Calcutta High Court.
Fayaz, on hearing that his wife was being tortured, filed a habeas corpus in the high court of Jharkhand, seeking intervention in rescuing Mohini. The court rejected the case.
Early this year, the couple again sneaked out of their homes and wandered in towns of Orissa and West Bengal, before taking refuge at the Calcutta house of Fayaz’s relatives. The couple then filed a writ petition in Calcutta High Court on May 13, seeking protection. The court has asked the police not to allow anybody to take Mohini out of the city till June 20 this year.
News has reached about the arrest of Fayaz’s father and five relatives. “The girl is distraught and has made all attempts to inform everybody concerned that she is alive and well. She is still afraid that her parents won’t allow her to stay with Fayaz,” says lawyer Sanjib Banerjee.