Srinagar: Priya Singh, now Farah Khan, was born to a Rajput family and lived in Bangalore until 1996, when she converted to Islam and came to live in Kashmir after marrying her fellow college student, Harris Alfarah Khan, who has ditched her.
The stranded woman, who has two daughters from her husband, has filed a case for maintenance under Section 488 CrPC against Khan who has left Kashmir to work in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She has also filed a civil suit against her brother-in-law and an uncle of her husband to seek return of her gold ornaments that her husband gave them. The High Court at Srinagar has now summoned her husband through the Indian embassy at Riyadh.
Priya Singh was disowned by her parents when she decided to marry a Muslim. She went to her parents’ home once after her marriage, but was turned away for having disgraced the family. Even so, she is not willing to renounce Islam to be accepted back in her family. “My parents won’t accept me as a Muslim but even if they do, my daughters will have to change their religion, which I won’t allow. Even if my husband has cheated me, it doesn’t make any difference to my views on Islam as a religion,” Farah Khan told Kashmir Reader.
“I didn’t convert to Islam just because I was marrying a Muslim. I converted because of the beauty of the religion. I properly went through the religious scriptures to understand Islam fully and then converted with open heart,” Farah said.
Farah and Harris met in 1995 when they were both studying at a Bangalore engineering college. After a few months they decided to get married. Without telling her family, Farah came to Kashmir and converted to Islam before marrying Harris.
“I left everything for him – all luxuries, even my parents. I didn’t think for a second that this man could ditch me in the later years of my life,” Farah said.
Farah’s mother couldn’t believe that her daughter had converted to Islam and the shock hastened her death. Farah learnt of her mother’s death three years after her marriage. “In 1999, I came to know about my mother’s death. When I went there, I was not shown her face. I was ridiculed that I had turned away from my religion. It didn’t matter to me because I believed that my husband will always take care of me and will never cheat me.”
“For the past three years my husband has had no contact with me,” Farah told Reader. “He is not even bothered about his daughters. He is enjoying his life at Riyadh. I am living in a rented house at Shivpora with my daughters. I have sent him many messages and made phone calls, but he is not responding.”
“When he got his job in Riyadh in 2010, I gave him every possible help, including all my gold jewellery. Till 2013 everything was
fine. He was sending me money every month. In 2013 when he came back, he and his two brothers decided to sell their property at Ishber Nishat. My husband and his younger brother purchased land at Buchpora and the elder brother purchased land at Harwan. My husband told me that for some time you have to live at a rented house till we build our own house. A rented house at Chanapora was taken. I had a lot of gold with me. My husband told me it is not safe to keep these gold ornaments with you. I gave him all my ornaments and he gave them to his brother. Later, when I asked for my ornaments, his brothers said they did not have my ornaments. Before the court I have said the same thing: that I gave my ornaments to my husband but he handed them over to his brother in front of me,” Farah said.
“Every time there is a hearing in the high court, the lawyer from their side says that we are coming to an amicable solution. But where is the solution? I want to ask my husband, you were good with me when I had a lot of money and gold, but now when I have nothing, you have ditched me?” Farah said.