Udayavni Special

Triple talaq petitioner threatened for attending Hanuman Chalisa recital in Hijab


Team Udayavani, Jul 18, 2019, 8:09 PM IST

Kolkata: Ishrat Jahan, a petitioner in the triple talaq case in the Supreme Court, has filed a police complaint alleging she was threatened and verbally abused by relatives and community members for attending a Hanuman Chalisa recital in a hijab.

In her complaint at Golabari police station in Howrah, she accused her brother-in-law and her landlord of hurling abuses and intimidating her for taking part in the religious function in her residential area on Tuesday last.

Jahan claimed she was returning home from her son’s school on Wednesday when hundreds of local residents in Golabari area surrounded and intimidated her for attending the recital.

“We have started an inquiry into the complaint and necessary action will be taken,” an officer at the Golabari police station said.

Jahan has said her life was in danger and sought protection from the police, the officer said.

“I wish to say that we are living in a secular country and it is our democratic right to take part in any holy festival,” she wrote in her complaint to the police, a copy of which is with PTI.

“I did my duty as a good citizen of my country. I am a secular person. However, I am facing life threats from my family members due to the same,” she wrote.

Jahan also claimed her brother in-law and landlord have threatened to throw her out of her residence.

“My brother in-law and landlord started threatening me to leave my home and said get her out of the house. They also abused me severely and threatened to kill me,” the complaint said.

Talking about the sordid episode on TV channels Thursday, Jahan defended her participation in a community programme of another faith in her area, who she said also share pleasantries on religious occasions of the Muslim community.

“It (Hanuman Chalisa recital) was not a party event but a programme of a community… I do not see anything wrong in participating in it as people of other faiths also join us in our religious occasions,” she said.

She alleged the purpose behind her harassment was to drive her away from home and the locality as she challenged the misuse of instant triple talaq in the apex court.

She challenged the “dharam ke thekedar” (self-styled custodian of religion), saying “why do not they come to the help of thousands of victims of the triple talaq, fighting for justice in Howrah court?”.

Mother to a 14-year-old daughter and eight-year-old son, Jahan is one of the five petitioners in the case against instant triple talaq. The practice of instant triple talaq was struck down by the Supreme Court on August 22, 2017.

She moved the apex court after her husband divorced her over the phone from Dubai by uttering the word ‘talaq’ thrice consecutively in 2014.

Jahan received support from the Bharatiya Janata Party, which she joined last year.

Criticising the alleged harassment, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said “Its okay that Mamata Banerjee offers Eid prayers on Red Road every year, but why is Ishrat being persecuted for going to a Hanuman Chalisha recital programme?”

Demanding that the police provide her with adequate security and take strong action against her brother in-law and the landlord, Ghosh said, “Both human rights and women’s rights are being trampled in this case.

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