A panchayat in Sambhal district has slapped a fine of Rs 2 lakh on a 45-year-old farmer for giving triple talaq to his wife in a fit of anger. It has also asked the man to pay the ‘mahar’ (mandatory payment promised at the time of marriage by the groom) of Rs 60,000 to his wife. Raees Ahmed of Moosapur village had married Rehana Begum (34) two years ago. She was his second wife.
Around 10 days ago, Raees divorced her saying ‘talaq’ thrice in one go following a marital dispute. The same day, Rehana returned to her parents at Sadiyanapur village. The panchayat by Turk community members — attended by members of 52 villages — was held on Sunday afternoon at madrasa Khalil-ul-Uloom in Raisati village. It also asked Raees to return the valuables that he had allegedly received as dowry from Rehana’s family.
“Four days ago, Rehana’s brother approached me and requested that we take up the matter of her sister’s talaq with the panchayat. We called the panchayat on Sunday at the madrasa. Raees too was called along with his family members. While Rehana was not there, her brothers represented her at the panchayat,” said Asrar Ahmed alias Babjuji, who headed the panchayat. He added that the panchayat was told that Raees had married again because he had no children with his first wife.
“In his statement, Raees could not justify his saying triple talaq while we had been requesting the villagers for the last two months to stay away the practice. Taking a serious note of the matter, we slapped a fine of Rs 2 lakh on Raees. He has also been asked to deposit the mahar of Rs 60,000 and return the dowry given by Rehana’s family. I have been informed that Raees has deposited the fine and mahar at the panchayat today,” said Ahmed.
Shahid Hussain, coordinator of the Turk community panchayat, said: “For the last two months, community members have been regularly holding meetings in villages, asking people to avoid uttering talaq thrice in one go.”
“We are also requesting people that if the differences occur between the couple, then after uttering talaq the first time, the woman’s family should be informed. If the differences are not resolved, then the matter should be placed before the panchayat. If the panchayat too fails to solve the dispute, then the man should say talaq a second and third time,” said Shahid, former head of Moosapur village panchayat. Despite repeated attempts, Raees and Rehana could not be contacted for comments. The panchayat of the Turk community, which mostly lives in the Terai region, had earlier stepped in to ban dowry, unnecessary lavish expenditure in marriages and DJs playing loud music at various social occasions.