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By Sushil Silvano, Our Special Correspondent. Edited By Adam Rizvi, TIO: Chaudhary Basheer, 45, a former minister in the Mulayam Singh government has been switching parties as also his wives.
He was arrested on August 19 and sent to jail after his fourth wife accused him of pronouncing Triple Talaq, now forbidden by Indian law.
“Basheer was arrested on August 19 and jailed on court orders. A case was registered under Section 504 (intentional insult giving provocation) of the IPC and sections 3 and 4 of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act (talaq void and illegal, and punishment for it) after his wife Nagma filed a complaint,” Agra SSP Muniraj G said.
Nagma, 30, had married Basheer in 2012. The couple has two sons, aged seven and eight. “On July 23, I came to know that my husband was going to marry for the sixth time,” she wrote in her complaint.
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She has been living with her parents for the last three years, she added because she “was harassed by him and his sisters who would beat me up, abuse me and torture me mentally.”
She finally decided to go home to Basheer and confront him. “He abused me again and pronounced triple talaq, forcing me to leave. I sought help from the police but did not get any. As a former minister, he is influential,” she said in her complaint.
She had been posting videos on social media, asking police for help. In response, Basheer had also started sharing audio clips in which he denied her allegations and said he was being framed for political reasons.
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“He has a dozen criminal cases pending against him for rioting, attempt to murder, loot, and abduction,” a police official said.
Basheer had started out as a shoe trader. With his hold over the local Muslim community, he first ran for elections in 2002 as a BSP candidate from Agra Cantonment and won. A year later, he married Gazala Lari, MLA from Salempur. It was his first marriage. That year, 2003, he and Lari switched over to SP and he became a minister of state. In 2007, he contested the Agra Cantonment seat again but lost. In 2012, he jumped ship again and joined Congress.
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The party didn’t give him a ticket and he dropped out. In 2017, he contested the Agra South seat as an Independent and lost. That year, he also ran for Agra mayor but lost. The streak continued in 2019, when he contested the Firozabad Lok Sabha seat as an Independent, losing again.
Basheer is perhaps the most high-profile name to be booked after Triple Talaq was deemed a criminal offense by an Act of the Indian Parliament.
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Compiled and Curated By Humra Kidwai