The 28-years old Geetanjali’s ordeal began soon after her unfortunate marriage to Satish Gayke on 15th August,2009; being inhumanly tortured by her husband in connivance with her in-laws for a Rs.4,00,000 dowry to finance the greedy in-laws plans to build a new house. This was an astronomical amount for her poor 60-year old helpless father Shivaji Aware. The cycle of torture, being banished, return to more torment therefore continued unabated devoid of any marital meaning. On 20th January, 2013; Geetanjali set off again to meet her husband at Shevgaon City (Ahmednagar district), to plead for mercy. She was stunned to learn from a neighbor that the heartless Satish had surreptitiously “married” the 13-year old teenager Janabai Sheshrao Kate (a student in the IX standard of Kanya High School, Brahmangalli) in August, 2012; in a local temple and re-christened her Nandini Satish Gayke! The childlike Janabai’s hard-up parents, who slogged as laborers, had been led to believe that Satish is a wealthy divorcee. In the dawn of teenage itself, Janabai’s bright future was thus cut short. And Geetanjali was as if “widowed” – though her lustful husband still remained alive. Despairingly, Geetanjali returned to her maternal home at Bhaygaon. On the same day, the frantic Shivaji came to Snehalaya’s CHILDLINE for aid, to save the hopeless Geetanjali from utter ruin - or even worse. Wheels were set in motion. By 23rd January, sufficient prima facie evidence was pain-stakingly gathered to prove the occurrence of this secretive illegal second marriage and to thwart it. This included Janabai’s birth certificate, Geetanjal’s wedding invitation, marriage certificate, complaint letter, witness testimonies etc. The CHILDLINE Team (Co-ordinator Kundan Pathare, Asst. Co-ordinator Abdul Khan, and team-members Shahid as well as Vrushali, led Geetanjali and her father to Shevgaon Police station to register a complaint. Inspector Amle and Sub-Inspector Bajrang Chowghule directed Head constable S.D. Mahanor to accompany the CHILDLINE Team to Satish Gayke’s residence, where the child-bride Nandini and her father- in-law Uttam Gayke were taken into custody. A message was left for Satish Gayke, instructing him to report to Shevgaon Police station immediately.
Wonders never cease where autocratic men in uniform rule the roost. While CHILDLINE sought to take the rescued Nandini to the Child Welfare Committee and also for a medical check-up, the Inspector Amle thoughtlessly ordered that the child be sent back to her impoverished maternal parents. CHILDLINE’s Kundan demanded filing a case under the relatively more stringent IPC 494 (Illegal second marriage: Punishment with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also is liable to fine). However the two Inspectors in all their infinite collective wisdom chose to file the case under more lenient IPC sections 498 (A) Domestic Violence : Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty, 232 - Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt, 504 - Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace, 506 - Punishment for criminal intimidation and 34 - Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention. Nevertheless Snehalaya’s CHILDLINE remains committed to ensure that justice will certainly be done to the suffering wives, in spite of the complicity of some officials and clout of the offenders. SATYAMEV JAYATE!!