A 23-year-old woman from Hyderabad approached the Ministry of External Affairs for help after her husband, who lives in the United States, gave her triple talaq over the phone, Hindustan Times reported on Thursday.
Saba Fatima wrote a letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, requesting him to direct Indian embassy officials in the US to get in touch with her husband and help her settle the divorce.
Fatima told the newspaper that she married Abdi Wali Ahmed in 2015 and there was a record of the ceremony with the Telangana Wakf Board. She added that Ahmed left for his parents’ home in Abu Dhabi a week after their wedding reception.
The woman said that her husband used to visit her in Hyderabad every six months. She last saw him in February this year.
Fatima said that her husband went to Abu Dhabi after visiting her, and later, flew to Boston and began working as a driver. “He used to be in touch with me even from the US,” she told the newspaper. “He also sent me money for my daily needs.”
The woman said that her husband called her father in October and declared that he was divorcing her. “He asked my father to switch-on the speaker of the mobile and pronounced triple talaq, without any reason,” she said. “I called him up again and had an argument, but he did not reveal why he was divorcing me.”
Fatima said that her husband blocked her family members on his phone. She added that her in-laws initially supported her but then stopped all communication with her.
The woman said that she had been trying to get in touch with in-laws for the past two months and approached the government after she was unable to do so. It is unclear whether the foreign ministry has responded to her letter.
Triple talaq became a penal offence in India after the Parliament passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill last year.
The practice of instant triple talaq allows Muslim men to divorce their wives by uttering the word “talaq” thrice in spoken or written forms, or via electronic communication. The law against the practice prescribes a penalty of imprisonment up to three years for the offence, and provides for subsistence allowance to married Muslim women and their children.