A few months after her 17th birthday, Juvairiya got married to AK Sameer in 2013. Six years after the wedding, she can be seen sitting outside her husband’s house in Nadapuram, in Kerala’s Kozhikode district, along with her five-year-old daughter and two-year-old son.
Juvairiya is sitting in protest outside Sameer’s house, claiming that he divorced her through triple talaq (which allowed men to divorce by uttering ‘talaq’ thrice).
On Thursday, Juvairiya filed a complaint with the Valayam police station. In her complaint, she said Sameer uttered the ‘talaq’ to her on the premises of a local court on September 24.
Speaking to TNM, an official at the Valayam police station said they have registered a case against Sameer under section 3 and 4 of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019.
The Supreme Court had declared triple talaq to be illegal in 2017 and in July this year, the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019 was passed. Instant triple talaq is now a crime with three years imprisonment.
Section 3 of the Act makes the pronouncement of ‘talaq’ by the Muslim husband, by words, either spoken or written or in electronic form or any other form, shall be void and illegal. According to section 4, the husband who pronounces talaq shall be punished with up to three years imprisonment and will be liable to fine.
If the allegations against Sameer are true and if he is arrested, it would be the second instance to be reported in Kerala after the new Act was passed.
Harassment over dowry
Juvairiya tells TNM that she was allegedly thrown out of the house several times. Her suffering began soon after her wedding to Sameer, when her mother-in-law allegedly started harassing her over dowry.
“My husband went to Qatar after our marriage. I stayed with his parents,” Juvairiya tells TNM. “My mother-in-law used to mentally torture me over dowry because my parents could give only 336 grams of gold. She used to ask for more money and gold. But I suffered everything for my husband and children. I never reacted and did not even tell my parents about this. However, things got worse one-and-a-half years ago,” she alleges.
Over the six years of their married life, Juvairiya was allegedly thrown out of the house many times, but she returned as she had no other means to live.
In 2017, Sameer's elder brother and his mother allegedly physically assaulted Juvairiya and forced her out of the house, which, she says, Sameer built after their wedding.
Speaking to TNM, Juvairiya's brother Jaseel says, “In 2017, we had filed a police complaint of domestic violence against Sameer’s elder brother. The Valayam police in Kozhikode registered an FIR in the case, but no action was taken."
Juvairiya claims that she managed to get an order from a lower court, stating that she can stay in her husband's house.
She returned home six months ago, and by then, Sameer had returned from Qatar. But her ordeal did not end there. “My husband hit me every day until I bled. Finally, after I was admitted to hospital, I decided to return to my house, to my parents,” she alleges, adding, “I had to bear the severe physical torture that I don't want to remember ever in my life.
Juvairiya says that her parents are not financially sound. She gave all her gold to build the house, from where she was thrown out.
“All my ornaments and my daughter's ornaments gifted by my parents were sold to build the house," she said. She claims that the gold, which cost more than Rs 10 lakh, was allegedly taken from her and now her husband doesn’t even provide her with basic necessities to live.
“I cannot live in this house with parents for a long time as there is no space here. But where will I go? How will I look after my children and give them education?” she weeps.
She filed a few civil cases against Sameer. The cases are still pending at a family court. According to Juvairiya, it was after one of the hearings that Sameer claimed that he divorced Javairiya on the premises of the court, although she says she never realised it then.
Juvairiya was contemplating the next course of action when she learnt that Sameer allegedly got married to a woman who lived near his house earlier this month.
“He got married to the woman at some other place as our ‘mahallu’ (mosque) committee did not allow another marriage until our issues were resolved," Juvairiya alleges.
Sameer is currently in Qatar and his family could not be reached for comment.