The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Father of unborn child counts his losses
- Forsaken husband in shock, family blames girl's stepmother for separation

Pataudi (Haryana), Sept. 20: Mohammad Arif has got back his Gudiya, but the man from whom he wrested her away could end up losing yet again ' this time his own flesh and blood.

A wall of despair now separates Taufiq from Gudiya and their unborn child after a village council in Noida restored his wife of one year to the army man who returned from Pakistan after five years as a prisoner of war.

Arif, who is Gudiya's first husband, has along with her parents and Muslim clerics succeeded in persuading her to leave her new home at Pataudi in Gurgaon and return to his house in Mundali, a village in Meerut.

While Arif wants his wife back and so does Taufiq, it is Gudiya's unborn child whose future hangs in balance. Arif does not want anything to do with it and if Gudiya does not go back, even Taufiq may be forced to turn away.

Taufiq's father Ishtiaq, who returned this evening after visiting Gudiya's parents in Kalaunda, Uttar Pradesh, is busy working out a compromise to get his daughter-in-law back home. His son, he says, is in a state of shock and has just gone to join a new job as a supervisor at Venu Eye Centre in Firozpur near Mewat.

'He says 'I don't want to say anything',' Ishtiaq says of his son. 'Dil ka masla hai, chot bhari lagti hai. When she was here, she was blossoming within 10 days of her marriage. She barely stayed with her first husband for about a week before the Kargil war happened and he had to go.'

It was because of a tradition of marriages between the two families that Taufiq was married to Gudiya, whose mother is Ishtiaq's sister. However, her father married again and according to Nanhi Begum, Ishtiaq's sister-in-law, it is Gudiya's stepmother who is to blame for the problem.

'Lalach bahut buri baat hai. It is the family which is doing wrong. He is an army jawan and he will get compensation in lakhs and his five-year salary for being a prisoner of war. They are greedy for that and that is all they are looking at. My son has a small job for which he is paid Rs 5,000,' Ishtiaq says.

Ishtiaq is shocked and upset that no one either in Kalaunda or Mundali confided in them before pressuring Gudiya to join her first husband. 'Had they even told us that he was interested in remarriage, we would have talked to Arif and worked out a compromise. There are so many girls in our families and we would have given any of our girls to him,' he says.

He added that when Gudiya had earlier attempted to go back to her in-laws, her brother-in-law and his wife did not treat her well. 'They taunted her because they thought she was unlucky for, within a week of the marriage, Arif had gone to fight in the war and went missing. When she saw she was being treated like this, she went back to her parents,' Ishtiaq says.

When Gudiya married Taufiq, she took none of her belongings ' clothes or jewellery ' from her first marriage. 'Hum tan ke gareeb honge, man ke nahin,' Ishtiaq says.

It is emotional issue for Pataudi village. Sher Mohammad, a senior member of the Muslim community here, says: 'When they talked to us about the marriage, we said we will wait for another two years and see if Arif returns. But at that time, they were eager to get her married. They got a fatwa from Deoband saying three years of wait for a second marriage was right.'

'While doing the second nikaah, the same maulvis and qazis were present. And now they are telling us she should go back to the first husband while she is carrying the second one's child. What kind of justice is this'

'Is this a brave thing for an army jawan to do' asks another resident of the village.

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