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Woman rescued from confinement

Cops, disguised as Avon ladies, rescued the distressed Asian woman from Sheffield, reports Vijay Dutt.

india Updated: Jan 28, 2006 18:56 IST
Vijay Dutt

British police officials, disguised as Avon ladies, rescued a woman from Sheffield where she was kept a prisoner for the last five years by her family. In fact, she found herself in trouble soon after coming to Britain in 1999 from Pakistan. after an arranged marriage.

The rescue operation began after a note pleading for help was left by the woman, Riffat Pasha, 38, in the toilet of a departmental store. She was desperate to escape her violent husband and his domineering family. She used to be beaten and her life threatened.

Undercover police, pretending to be selling perfumes and posing as cosmetics saleswomen went to her house. They then helped Mrs Pasha flee to a refuge with her two kids.

Her cabbie husband Aamer, 38, has now gone on trial accused of false imprisonment, assault and threats to kill.

It is alleged that a lock was even put on the kitchen door to stop her getting food and drink after her mother-in-law accused her of eating too much. Her husband became violent, threatened her with a sword and a carving knife and said he would "finish her off".

An official source admitted that such cases, which often lead to the so-called honour killings, have not stopped despite various measures taken over the last five years to prevent cruelty and forcible marriages among Asian families, particularly in families from Pakistan and Punjab.

In the Pasha case too when she wanted to divorce, her husband told her that only her dead body would be sent back to Pakistan. In London alone 12 suspected honour killings were reported in the last four years.

First Published: Jan 28, 2006 18:56 IST