Christian betrayed his Hindu Wife

published on September 8, 2009

Woman alleges torture by IPS officer-husband
By R Guhambika @ www.expressbuzz.com

CHENNAI: The irony cannot be more striking: A self-respect marriage that never took off and the woman now accusing her husband, an IPS officer, of “cheating, co-habitation caused deceitfully inducing belief of lawful marriage, marriage ceremony fraudulently gone through without lawful marriage, dowry harassment, criminal intimidation etc.”

Within two months into wedded life, T Sharmila, a former bank officer, was allegedly told by her husband S R Samuel, Commandant, 13th Battalion, Indian Reserve Police, Jammu, that she was not his “legally wedded wife and that ours was a sham ceremony to please his parents and to assuage his sexual urges.”

In her nine-page complaint to the City Police Commissioner T Rajendran on Monday, Sharmila said she was a Hindu Yadav by caste, and married Samuel, a Christian Yadav, in a self-respect marriage ceremony on February 2 only after she was entirely convinced by the man himself, his parents and friends that he had “reconverted to Hinduism and was a staunch Hindu and a vegetarian.”

Even during the lavish marriage ceremony, conducted in the presence of Minister for Slum Clearance Subha Thangavelu, the bridegroom acted like a Hindu, wearing vibhuthi and kungumam on his forehead, she said.

She was soon in for a nasty surprise. The most shocking discovery was on the wedding night itself, when she found that he was “bald and wore a wig”. Weeks of ill-treatment followed – at his house in his native town, Paramakudi, his close friend’s house in Madurai and later at Leh, she alleged.

But she got the greatest shock when she heard him confess on April 13 that he had married her at the insistence of his parents and that he had not converted to Hinduism and had opted for a self-respect ceremony because it was only legally valid between Hindus. Since he remained a Christian, she was not his legally wedded wife and the child she was carrying was also illegitimate. “A self-respect marriage is legally valid only if it is between Hindus,” Sharmila’s lawyer and civil rights activist Sudha Ramalingam told Express.

“Samuel told her that he was a Hindu and, hence, Sharmila thought she was his legally married wife. But he cheated her,” she said. “Samuel was already married and divorced. He was bald and was probably not getting any marriage proposals. Hence, his parents could have come up with this idea of getting him married to Sharmila,” she added.

Sharmila alleged that her husband, his family and friend claimed they were close to ministers, MPs and a top police official and threatened to implicate her and her family in grave offences. Asked about the police chief’s response, the lawyer said he had assured them of all help and forwarded the petition to Assistant Commissioner (Anti-Dowry Cell) Vimala. Denying all charges, Samuel said he had filed a divorce petition in the family court and would abide by the court’s decision.

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