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Muslim women gather in Mumbai, say triple talaq bill will destroy families

As per the bill, the practice has been classified as a cognisable and non-bailable offence

mumbai Updated: Apr 01, 2018 00:55 IST
Yesha Kotak
Yesha Kotak
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Muslim,triple talaq
Muslim women protest against the triple talaq bill at Azad Maidan in Mumbai on Saturday. (BHUSHAN KOYANDE/HT)

Women from across the city gathered at Azad Maidan on Saturday to protest against the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, demanding that the bill be withdrawn.

“We do not want any changes in Sharia laws and completely believe in the teachings of our religion. The bill that is being brought in is anti-women, anti-children and will destroy our families and damage Muslim society. We reject all the moves by the government to bring in Uniform Civil Code (UCC),” said Nazneen Qureshi, secretary, Urdu Teachers Union.

Women members of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), who had organised the protest, met governor C Vidyasagar Rao after the event to submit a memorandum with their demands.

The gathering at Azad Maidan was a part of larger protest that has been taking place across the country for months now, with Mumbai being the 180th location. The next demonstration is scheduled for April 4 at Ramlila Maidan, New Delhi.

“The bill does not abide by the decisions of the court. When the Supreme Court calls triple talaq unconstitutional, how can the government criminalise it? How would the women get her maintenance if the husband is sent to jail? Talaq has never been an issue in our community,” said Dr Asma Zahra, president of the women’s wing of AIMPLB.

After the apex court struck down the practice of instant triple talaq last year, the bill was passed in Lok Sabha during the winter session, which criminalised the practice. As per the bill, the practice has been classified as a cognisable and non-bailable offence and a Muslim man pronouncing instant triple talaq would face three years imprisonment and a fine.

The bill requires approval from Rajya Sabha to become an act.

Last year, AIMPLB had submitted a petition with the signatures of five crore Muslim men and women to the Law Commission in support of Muslim Personal Law.

“India is a secular democratic country where Right to Freedom of Religion is among fundamental rights guaranteed by our Constitution. The majoritarian attitude of the government is bulldozing this bill into a piece of legislation, which is unfortunate. The bill is completely anti-Muslim and not acceptable to Muslim women,” said Monisa Bushra Abidi, member, executive committee, AIMPLB.

First Published: Apr 01, 2018 00:55 IST