What gave her husband 'passport' for acid attack

What gave her husband 'passport' for acid attack

Travel to Riyadh was delayed as Rahatunnisas papers were not in order

Syeda Rahatunnisa

The victim wanted to stay with her brother, Dr Syed Siddique, an eye specialist in Riyadh, as she was “too scared” to live in Bangalore and feared a backlash from her husband, Abdul Wakeel. Not surprisingly, Rahatunnisa’s worst fear came true as Wakeel, in a sudden act of vengeance, threw acid on her when she was about to take bath at her home in Bhuvaneshwari Nagar on Friday morning.

The victim’s elder sister Syeda Ishrat wishes mournfully that if only Rahatunnisa’s passport was in order, she would not have to go through the horrendous time she is having at the moment. But the attack was destined. “I wish she had got her passport and flown to Saudi Arabia. Alas, that didn’t happen,” Ishrat told Deccan Herald. Throwing light on the couple’s courtship which led them to tie the knot, Ishrat said that her family got to know about the marriage only a month after it was solemnised in September, 1998.

Wakeel’s grandfather used to teach ‘Quran’ to Rahatunnisa’s family members at their house in Tiptur. Thus, both families came closer. So did Rahatunnisa and Wakeel. When the victim was pursuing BE (Architecture) in Tumkur, her relationship with Wakeel blossomed and she had to discontinue studies to enter into wedlock. 

Even as her father, Syed Siraj-ul-Hasan, suffered a stroke, Rahatunnisa eloped with Wakeel and got married in a low-profile ceremony in Bangalore. Her family, however, continued to oppose the marriage and stayed away from the couple initially. It was only after Sufia, the first child of Rahatunnisa and Wakeel, was born in 2000 that the victim’s family decided to reconcile with their son-in-law, Ishrat recalled.

But the marriage hardly worked. Wakeel used to frequently quarrel with his wife. His unsteady earnings only worsened the matter. Things were so bad that Rahatunnisa applied for “khula” (the right of a woman to separate from her husband) at the Darul-ul-Uloom Sabeelur Rashad, an Arabic College in Govindpur.

Wakeel, however, apologised for his behaviour and promised to reform, Ishrat said. The victim’s sister says Wakeel hardly kept the promise and continued to torture Rahatunnisa.

In May 2011, Rahatunnisa approached a local mosque in Minhaj Nagar, Kadirenahalli, and applied again for “khula” which was upheld. The couple was to separate on Saturday, a day after the acid attack.

Rahatunnisa is still in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of DG Hospital. Dr Deepak Shetty, who is treating her, said that she will be in the ICU for two to three weeks for observation. “But she is out of danger.” he said. The doctors are still unable to confirm the type of acid used in the attack.

She is presently on a diet of gruel. Ishrat says her sister will undergo a plastic surgery. Meanwhile, Wakeel is still at large. Ishrat suspects that he might be hiding in Bangalore or Tumkur.

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