The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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For Rs 15000, debtor sells wife

Krishnagar, Aug. 7: Debt has put a figure to the market value of love: Rs 15,000.

A trader from Bengal has been accused of selling his wife, who he married after an affair, for Rs 15,000 to clear his debt.

Unable to repay Rs 10,000 he had borrowed from a Delhi acquaintance, Nadia garment trader Bhola Biswas sold his 26-year-old wife Reena — she was with child — to a couple of touts for Rs 15,000 this April.

Reena and her month-old baby were brought back today by a district police team after they were rescued from a red-light area in Delhi. Bhola had told Reena’s family she had gone missing in the capital.

The touts — Subrata Sarkar and Sudhangshu Das — have been arrested. Swapan Biswas, who lent Bhola the money, has been picked up. But Bhola, who sniffed trouble after Reena’s father Rabi Biswas went to the police, is absconding.

Additional district police superintendent Biswarup Ghosh said Bhola, a garment trader of Tehatta in Nadia, had sold his wife after Swapan threatened to keep the couple confined if his money was not repaid.

The two had been happily married — they tied the knot last May — till financial problems began to plague Bhola’s business this January.

“So, he decided to go to Delhi to organise finance,” said Ghosh, reconstructing events from what Swapan and the touts said. “Bhola had visited the capital twice earlier. This time, too, he planned to buy clothes from Delhi-based garment dealers.”

As his wife insisted she would go with him, the couple left for Delhi in April. Far from laying his hands on any money, fresh trouble came Bhola’s way there. Both the garment traders and his creditors demanded that he clear all his dues before running up fresh debts.

“Swapan Biswas, from whom Bhola had borrowed money, even threatened to keep him and his wife confined if he failed to clear his dues,” an officer of Tehatta police station, who probed the case, said.

Pushed to a corner, Bhola sold Reena to the touts, paid Swapan his due and returned to Debnathpur, his ancestral village in Nadia. Later, he told Reena’s father that she had gone missing.

Tehatta police contacted their Delhi counterparts after Rabi sought their help. When Delhi police discovered that no missing diary had been lodged, they suspected foul play. Once Bhola heard this, he disappeared.

A team of officers from Tehatta police station left for Delhi in June. Delhi sleuths, too, chipped in their bit and finally arrested Swapan who said during interrogation that Bhola had repaid him.

Bhola is believed to have told Swapan the only reason he was selling his wife was to repay his debts. “Bhola has no criminal record,” Ghosh said. “But his failure to get his business going led him to this desperate act.”

“The entire episode has been corroborated by Reena, who learnt the story of her husband’s treachery from her captors,” he added.

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