A year after marriage, she fights to free her husband from prison
Priyanka Jat’s family beat and tortured her for marrying her lover, Shivpal Choudhary. She was also forced to give a statement that her husband had kidnapped and raped her. The torture led to her miscarriage.jaipur Updated: Jan 11, 2016 20:32 IST
When 20-year-old Priyanka Jat married Shivpal Choudhary in April last year, she probably expected a blissful marital life with a man of her choice. But then, a year later, she finds herself fighting a battle against the state to free him from prison.
Choudhary was arrested in July 2015, after Jat’s family lodged a case of abduction and rape against him. Jat has shot off letters to the Rajasthan chief minister, the state and national women commissions as well as the governor – narrating a story of how her relatives have been torturing her for marrying somebody of her liking. She has even tried to lodge an FIR against her relatives for torturing her and forcing a miscarriage, but to no avail. The police, she says, just aren’t interested.
Jat, who was in Jaipur on Monday to meet some women rights activists, described her fight for justice to the Hindustan Times.
“Shivpal (22) and I belong to the same village – Kalidoongri in Ajmer – and have been in a relationship for the last four years. In April last year, we eloped and married at an Arya Samaj temple in Balangir, Odisha. Two days later, we were apprehended by the local police and handed to their Ajmer counterparts because my family had registered a case of kidnapping against Shivpal,” she said.
After the two were brought to Kishangarh, Jat was handed over to her family against her will. “My uncles tortured me for two months. They beat me mercilessly, aborting my three-month pregnancy and forced me to make a statement before a magistrate. On May 13, 2015, I told the magistrate under duress that Shivpal had kidnapped and raped me. Police arrested Shivpal and his two uncles, and put them behind bars. The uncles are out on bail but he is still in jail,” she said.
On December 14, she shifted from her parents’ house to her in-laws’ residence. Later, she filed a complaint before the Gandhi Nagar police in Kishangarh – alleging torture by her relatives – but in vain.
Kavita Srivastava, president of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, said it was a clear case of how the state apparatus – including the judiciary – has worked in collusion with the boy’s family to deny a woman the right to choose her own partner. “The state doesn’t have the right to behave like the moral police. These are educated people who have decided to marry out of their own choice… how can the police act on one family’s wishes in this manner?” she questioned.
The court trial in the case is on, and Jat’s statement may be recorded on January 13 – the next date of hearing.