A Middle-East love story seeks a happy ending with NCW help


A day after she flew down to Bangalore, she and Joseph met on December 10 in Madikeri, Karnataka. The same day they approached the local registrar to get their marriage registered under the Special Marriage Act, as Joseph is a Christian.

However, before the mandatory one-month notice period essential before a court marriage had elapsed, they began to be hounded. In her petition to the NCW, Kareem has written that on December 12, around 15 people claiming to ber relatives came to Madikeri. However, she said, they were not her relatives but goons — "some of them claimed to be policemen from Karnataka" — who tried to forcefully take her away while all the way saying they would kill Joseph.

Kareem's family also lodged a kidnapping case in Kerala as well as one in the Middle-East, accusing her of having stolen money and the family gold.

Kareem claims that hounded by hired thugs, they have been living on the run, spending nights in train compartments and cheap hotels and changing locations "like hunted animals". They had to even sell off their mobile phones and laptops for money.

"I had Rs 30,000 in my account and some 2-3 gm gold. We sold that as well. I wrote to the Kerala Women's Commission, chief justice of the Kerala High Court, Human Rights Commission, top cops, chief secretary and many others but nothing worked. Then I went and gave a dying declaration to the Palakkad collector threatening suicide. He called up the panchayat pradhan of Paynnur where Joney's parents stay. The pradhan asked me to go back to my parents as they had created too much nuisance. That is something I will never do. I can't take their insults and after all this they will probably kill me," Kareem says with an air of quiet determination.

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