UP's marriage aid to riot-hit families leads to divorces

UP's marriage aid to riot-hit families leads to divorces

The Uttar Pradesh government’s Rs 1 lakh financial aid to Muslim families ravaged by the communal clashes, meant to help them in marrying off their daughters, has in fact damaged many marriages as newly-wed women have been thrown out or divorced for not giving the money to their husbands.

Thousands of people had taken shelter in various relief camps after being displaced from their villages during the communal violence in Muzaffarnagar district last year.

The government gave Rs 1 lakh each to as many as 27 muslim women, who got married while their families lived at the relief camps. Some muslim organisations had also chipped in and provided help in making other arrangements.

According to sources, the cash assistance was given only to those families which took shelter in Shahpur relief camp. The families in other camps had not received any help.

The local Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders, however, assured that those in other camps would also be given money. Hence, several marriages were solemnised at different riot relief camps. But the SP leaders failed to keep their promise.

However, differences cropped up in the families of the newly-married couples as the men demanded their wives to bring the money.

According to the reports, as many as 18 women have been sent back to their parents’ home by their husbands with the condition that they would be accepted only if they return with the money. Incidentally, these women were from Loi and Joula, Sarai and Jogiakhera camps, reports said.

There were reports that at least three girls have been divorced after their families expressed their inability to give the money received from the state government.

Reports also said that some women were sent back home by their husbands and in-laws as they did not receive any assistance from the government, which was promised to them at the time of wedding.

Sources said more such families may head for divorce in the days to come. Muslim organisations are trying to resolve the matter through dialogues.

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