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I was confined in room for many days: Lahore's widow

After her marriage across the border abruptly ended in widowhood two months ago, a pregnant Asha Patil returns to India alleging that she was kept imprisoned in a room for many days by her in-laws in Lahore.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, Attari (punjab)
UPDATED ON JUL 12, 2008 10:06 PM IST

After her fairytale online courtship and marriage across the border abruptly ended in widowhood two months ago, a pregnant Asha Patil on Saturday returned to India alleging that she was kept imprisoned in a room for many days by her in-laws in Lahore.

The Mumbai resident, who took the name Ayesha Khalid on converting to Islam, told reporters at the Wagah-Attari border here that she underwent "mental agony and physical torture" after her husband Mumtaz Khalid, a Lahore stockbroker, died.

"We had gone to attend a marriage where Khalid suffered a massive heart attack and died. Just two days earlier, we had come to know that I was two months pregnant," she said.

The 28-year-old said she experienced "a hellish life" from then on, with Khalid's brother-in-law Yasin Chattha and parents "keeping me imprisoned in a single room for many days".

Patil alleged that the family mounted pressure on her to leave Pakistan as soon as possible, holding her responsible for Khalid's death, but thanked the Pakistani government, media and people for their cooperation and support.

She expressed gratitude to Lahore police who on the instance of a local NGO and politicians "rescued me from solitary confinement".

The young widow plans to go back during the advanced stages of pregnancy and also intends a pilgrimage to Mecca.

"It was my husband's wish that the child should be born on Pakistan's soil. He told me that if it's a boy he should be named Khalid and if a girl, the name should be Fatima," Patil said.

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