The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Re-marriage norm prompts woman suicide

Malda, July 24: Unable to bear the pressure to re-marry a stranger in order to get back to her former husband, a woman here has committed suicide.

Tarzina Khatun was allegedly told by her family that in order to reunite with Motiur Sheikh, who had given her talaq three months ago, she had no other option but to spend at least one night with somebody else, divorce him and then re-marry. The couple’s families are from two adjoining villages in the Chanchol area of the district, 75km from here, and they felt that they should stick to the shariat norms as explained by the Muslim clerics.

Bablu Sheikh said his sister had married Motiur, a worker in a lathe factory, six years ago.

“At first they were a happy couple but she was under tremendous pressure to bear a child. When she failed, her in-laws chided her and three months ago, her husband gave her talaq,” Bablu said.

Tarzina returned to her parents’ house but after a few days Motiur wanted her back.

“We sat together and decided after conferring with the clerics that Tarzina would have to stay all by herself for three months and then marry a different person and spend at least one night with him. According to the shariat, she could then divorce the new husband and remarry Motiur. But she refused,” Bablu said.

Tarzina had also approached the Chanchol police and in a written complaint said she was not willing to marry anyone else except her former husband.

Police sources said they had gone to the village and sat with the couple’s families, asking them to sort out the matter amicably. Both families then decided that the shariat had to be followed.

“No Muslim can shun the religious law and Tarzina had to abide by it,” said Farizuddin Ahmed, a resident of Imampur.

Bablu said his family had even convinced a youth from the village to marry Tarzina for a day. “All she had to do was spend one night with him and divorce him the next day. But my sister refused to consider the proposal and killed herself,” an inconsolable Bablu said.

This morning Tarzina’s body was found in a room in her parents’ house. She had consumed pesticide meant for eggplants.

Malda police superintendent Dilip Mondol said a case of suicide has been registered.

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