A British-Pakistani woman received a cold welcome after she travelled over 4000 miles to India to track down the man she had married in the UK.
Mariyan Khaliq, 33, who lives in London, married Naushad Hussain in 2013 after the pair met while he was completing his MBA in the UK.
Hussain left for India the following year, telling his wife he needed to seek permission for the marriage from his parents.
However, after his departure, Khaliq stopped all communications with his wife and blocked her on Facebook and WhatsApp.
He later send a letter telling his wife that his parents disapproved of the marriage as she was Pakistani and he wouldn’t return to the UK.
Mariyam decided to take matters into her own hands and set out to look for him. In 2015, she arrived in Malappuram, India, with only a picture to trace him.
After initial difficulty, she found support from helpline Snehitha, a local Kudumbashree group. With their help, Khaliq found Hussein where she received a cold welcome.
Khaliq said: “They called me a prostitute. They abused me very badly. I pleaded with them but they refused to talk to me.”
Snehitha lawyer, Sudha says: “Although he first denied any relationship with Khaliq, Hussain later said that he married her just to get a permanent UK visa.” Hussein also made plans to marry again.
Khaliq took Hussein and his family to court. However, it was a long journey to justice. During the trial, Hussein married again to an Indian woman in 2015.
The Hussain family eventually agreed to pay alimony.
Khaliq said: “I am going back next weekend, there is nothing more here.”
Sudha added: “When she first came here, her only intention was to live with him. She never agreed for a settlement by giving alimony, but since he remarried and there were no other options left, in a meeting with local political leaders and Noushad’s family, we agreed for a settlement.”
After the long court battle, she has thanked Snehitha for their support. Speaking about her case, she says: “I hope my case will work as a deterrent to many women who are duped in a similar fashion.”
Marriage scams are a huge concern for some British Asian men and women, particularly those marrying from abroad.
Numerous campaign and support groups such as Stop UK Marriage Fraud and Immigration Marriage Fraud UK have been set up to educate individuals from falling victim to marriage scams. Thousands have also signed a petition to introduce a marriage fraud prevention law in the UK, but this is yet to pass through