Dubai-Shattered dream: Dumped for dowry?


XPRESS, 17-03-2011 10:58:56


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A 21-year-old bride was forced to return to her home country this week after her marriage turned out to be "a nightmare"


Dubai: A 21-year-old bride, who came to the UAE in July last year in the hope of living happily ever after, was forced to return to her home country this week after her marriage turned out to be "a nightmare".

Sufina Kaval, a medical health inspector from the southern Indian city of Bengaluru, said she got married to her husband who worked as a sales executive in Dubai at a grand ceremony in her hometown on April 13, 2010.

But when she arrived in the UAE three months later, she alleged that her husband constantly harassed and even physically tortured her for dowry, before forcing her to give him a divorce. Dowry refers to money or property given to a groom by the bride’s family in an Indian marriage.

"To date, we have spent Rs3,500,000 (Dh285,000 approximately)," claimed Kaval.

Showing a copy of a letter she wrote to the Consul (Labour and Welfare) at the Indian Consulate, she alleged that her husband was having an affair with another girl and "tortured" her for "dowry" whenever she confronted him about it. "He kept me locked inside the house without a phone," she alleged.

"He did not provide me medical help. When I became ill, I took medicines on my own. He took this as an attempt by me to commit suicide and filed for divorce in Dubai Courts," she alleged, adding, "I was compelled to sign an Arabic paper whose contents I did not understand."

She said after the divorce, her husband threw her out of his apartment in Sharjah. "I had nowhere to go. The neighbours came to my rescue," she said, noting that her parents had also flown in to take her back to India.

"If it had not been for a few friends, including the Indian Association Sharjah and the Indian Consulate, I do not know what would have happened," she said.

"She approached us with a written complaint which we forwarded to the Indian Consulate requesting necessary action as she was alone here without any help," confirmed Nissar Thalangara of the Indian Association Sharjah.

A.K. Bhardwaj, Consul (Consular) of the Indian Consulate, said, "The passport and other belongings of Sufina Kaval were under the custody of her divorced husband. The consulate intervened in the matter and her husband was called to the consulate and asked to hand over her passport and other belongings."

The consulate also provided Kaval shelter for one night, he said, adding she left for India on March 13.

Kaval said she has now been advised to file a case of dowry harassment against her husband in the Indian courts.

"No woman should suffer the way I did," she said.

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