Indian women are 'creating terror' abroad for their runaway husbands
From IOL News:
In a pink-walled room of a government office at the foot of the Himalayas, Indian women spend their days cancelling the passports of runaway husbands.
Midday on a Monday, the father of a woman who married a merchant marine is explaining how the husband lied about being single and failed to disclose the fact that he had a child and a warrant for his arrest. The case, says worker Amritpal Kaur, should qualify for immediate impoundment of the man's passport.
Kaur isn't your usual Indian bureaucrat. She isn't a government employee at all. She and the other women who work in the passport office are abandoned wives, volunteering their hours at the office to help women like them.
Sibash Kabiraj, regional passport chief in the city of Chandigarh, says it all began when the wives started coming to him and pleading for help.
A lifelong civil servant with a taste for the fine print, Kabiraj realized Indian law would allow him to suspend – and even cancel – the passports of overseas Indian men who had misled their wives. The Passport Authority requires approval from the central government to take away a passport but can do so if the holder lies or withholds information, or if there is a warrant or court summons, among other reasons.
But there was a problem in this country notorious for its bureaucracy. "One suspension of a passport, it requires a lot of paperwork," he says.
Not one to be stopped, he explained passport law to the women, gave them a room with a computer, printer and fax machine, and told them if they would do the paperwork, he would sign it.
It's the women's best way of seeking justice from their far-away husbands, he says.
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