Hyderabad: Shabana Sultana, 38, lived as the 31st wife of a Saudi national in the Gulf after her marriage to the small-time businessman 20 years ago.
While she was forced to return to her home here along with her two sons a year ago when she fell seriously ill, her 90-year-old husband did not allow her daughter to come back.
Sultana says her husband Al Sugaihi Ali Abdullah’s family members have confined the girl to a room and are not allowing her even to talk to her mother over phone. Ms Sultana approached MBT leader Amjed Ullah Khan for help and he has, on her behalf, lodged a petition with the Ministry of External Affairs. The matter stands there.
Sultana says when she was 13, her family was residing in Talabkatta. Her elder sister was already married to a Saudi trader and staying in Riyadh. After the sister’s husband died, her brother-in-law approached her for a re-marriage. She rejected his proposal and assured him that she would get her younger sister, Sultana, to marry him.
Initially, Sultana was reluctant to marry a man as old as Al Abdullah but her sister promised that she would be able to live a rich life and that, after his death, “all his property will be hers.”
In March 1996, Al Abdullah married her without providing any official documents related to marriage from Saudi Arabia. After staying with her for 20 days, he flew back to Saudi. Ms Sultana stayed with her parents. Since then, there were no phone calls from him. But he visited her in Hyderabad thrice and she gave birth to two daughters Zahoora Ali, Urooj Ali, and a son, Al Sugaihi Abdul Rehman.
Children’s visas have expired, says woman
In 2015, Al Abdullah called told her to get her and the children’s passports and visas done from the Saudi consulate in Mumbai. Ms Sultana along with her three kids landed in Riyadh in May 2015. There, all of them were confined to a small room. There were times when there was neither food nor water at the room.
“He would come to me once in three days, lock my children in another room and have intercourse with me and leave. If I refused he would assault me and abuse me. I pleaded him to leave me, but he was adamant,” Sultana said.
During her stay in Riyadh, she had visitors who were in the age-group of 25 to 60, identifying themselves as the children of her husband. From them, she came to know that she was his 31st wife. Her younger kids are also at risk as they are on visit visas there, which expired in September 2016. They can be detained by the police....