NRI caught for 'holiday marriages'
By Jaideep Sarin
Jalandhar, Sep 15 (IANS) The free run of a Germany-based non-resident
Indian (NRI) indulging in "holiday marriages" during
his frequent trips to India has been curtailed by the Punjab
Police - but not before he got married at least five times
in as many years.
The NRI, Gurdev Singh, who is in his 50s and based in Hamburg,
Germany, is now cooling his heels in a police lockup after
he was finally arrested by the police Friday immediately after
he got married a fifth time.
Singh's luck with converting all his holiday trips to India
into honeymoons ended when his fourth wife, Rajinder Kaur,
tracked down his past and came to know that he not only had
three wives other than her but was all set to get married
a fifth time.
Incidentally, the wedding list of the NRI came to the knowledge
of the Punjab Police in Bholath town of Kapurthala district,
40 km from here, last week only when he was arrested in another
case of embezzling Rs.500,000 from Nazir Chand with the promise
of settling him abroad.
Singh was declared a proclaimed offender (PO) by the police
in that case which was registered in 2002.
"We raided his home in Bholath but did not find him
there. He was finally nabbed from Chintpurni (a temple town
in neighbouring Himachal Pradesh, 90 km from here) where he
was getting married again," Bholath station house officer
(SHO) Gurwinder Singh said.
So sure was the NRI about his repeated wedding plans that
in his fifth marriage to a woman called Rosy, he even took
a Scorpio sports utility vehicle (SUV) costing over Rs.700,000
as dowry among other things.
His other wives included a German woman called Maria, Rajinder
Kaur of Jalandhar district, Promila, a woman from Palampur
town in Himachal's Kangra district, and another woman from
Hoshiarpur town, 40 km from here.
It was Rajinder Kaur, his fourth wife, who tracked his past
and future plans and informed the police. She claimed that
Gurdev lived with her for three weeks in 2004 before going
back to Germany and not getting in touch again.
None of the other "wedding" victims of the NRI complained
to the police despite being cheated by him.
This is not the first incident of NRIs indulging in 'holiday
marriages' in Punjab. The custom of NRIs coming to Punjab
for holidays and getting married is quite common.
The 'holiday marriage' plans of a Britain-based 60-year-old
non-resident Indian (NRI) went awry in April this year when
the police arrested him after his earlier wife complained
that he had cheated her.
The cheated wife, Harjinder Kaur, 42, and activists of the
Lok Bhalai Party (LBP), a social and political organization
in Punjab that takes up cases of illegal immigration and fake
marriages, filed a complaint with the Punjab police after
which the house of NRI Malkiat Singh in Model Town here was
Kaur, a divorcee, claimed that she got married to the NRI
earlier in 2008 with the hope of settling herself and her
two children aged 18 and 13 years.
The marriage was fixed at the behest of a local marriage bureau
here. Kaur claimed that the marriage bureau forced her to
sell her house worth Rs.1.5 million for just Rs.750,000 and
took the money from her for marrying her with the NRI.
She said that her NRI husband later refused to get the marriage
registered saying that he had done this only for his holiday
trip in India.
"When we confronted him about his earlier marriage, he
said that he was not married to Kaur at all and remained unrepentant,"
LBP general secretary Ramandeep Singh Bharowal told IANS.
In Kapurthala district March this year, a Britain-based non-resident
Indian (NRI) groom's desire to get married a second time illegally
without seeking divorce from his first wife ended in tragedy
for him after he was not only beaten up at the venue of his
wedding ceremony but also arrested by the police.
NRI Rajwinder Singh's D-day to get married to Harpreet Kaur
of Ganganagar in Rajasthan turned sour soon after his wedding
party comprising nearly 200 people reached the marriage palace
and was confronted by activists of the LBP, who asked him
for proof of his first marriage having legally ended.
"His first wife Sarabjit Kaur had sent a message to us
that her husband was getting married illegally after telling
her that he had come to India for a holiday," LBP leader
A.S. Mullanpuri said.
When the groom failed to furnish any proof, the LBP activists
and others gave him a sound thrashing before handing him over
to the police. Most of his relatives ran away from the venue
after they were chased.
The police later booked him for cheating and arrested him.
Indo-Asian News Service
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