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Afia regained her rights

Afia Begum (25), father Md. Rahman Moral, mother: Sharifa Begum, daughter of a poor family in Toiyabpur village, ward no. 7 at Sharafpur Union under Dumuria Upazila in Khulna. About 7 (seven) years ago, Afia Begum got married to Nurzaman (33) at Kharshanda village under Sahosh Union, Dumuria, Khulna. Their family life was going on very happily. In the meantime, two daughters were born in their family. The first daughter is 7 years old; she is in class two and the youngest daughter is 10 months old. In this happy family of Afia, suddenly they were faced with a severe financial crisis. To remove the financial crisis, husband Nurzaman started working to make bricks in a nearby Koiya area under Dumuria upazila. While working at the brick-making place, Afia’s husband built intimacy with a woman named Sufia Khatun and had an illicit sexual relationship with her. At one stage, Afia’s husband secretly married the woman without informing anyone. Afia was informed by local people that her husband married a woman seven days ago. One day, Afia went to her husband and asked him, did you get married for the second time? Her husband admits to marriage. A few days later, Afia’s husband brought his newly married wife, Sufia Khatun, into his home. Then Afia left her husband’s house with severe sorrow on February 24, 2022, and moved to her father’s house. During Afia’s stay at her father’s house for two months, her husband did not look after her and her daughters and did not provide any support. Afia Begum communicated frequently with local UP members, the chairman, and local elite person to bring her husband back. When she did not get any result, she filed a complaint against her husband on April 24, 2022, with Mr. Nasir Uddin, in-charge of the local police camp at Sharafpur village. After hearing the complaint, in-charge of Sharafpur Police camp, communicated with DALIT’s community paralegal Mr. Uttam Kumar Mondal and RJF Mr. Liakat Biswas of Sharafpur Union, through mobile phone and gave them the responsibility to resolve Afia’s family dispute. Restorative Justice Facilitator Mr. Liakat Biswas, Community Paralegal Uttam Kumar Mandal, and Purnima Das communicated and discussed with Nurzaman and Afia more than once to bring her husband back and resolve the dispute. RJF Liakat Biswas advised Afia Begum to keep mentally sound and to be patient. He communicated and motivated Nurzaman a few times and explained to him well about the present situation. Finally, Nurzaman realized his mistake and decided to divorce his newly married wife, Sufia Khatun. Restorative Justice Facilitator Liakat Biswas negotiated with both parties and agreed to resolve the dispute through a RJ meeting on May 8, 2022, at Toyabpur Primary School. The meeting was held in the presence of members of the community, relatives of the victim and the wrongdoer, community paralegals, restorative justice facilitators, and local UP members, on the condition that Nurzaman would show the divorce papers of Sufia Khatun and never communicates with her in the future. At the RJ meeting, Nurzaman showed his newly married wife’s divorce certificate to everyone and agreed to all the conditions of Afia Begum, and Nurzaman agreed to start a family together again. Then the dispute between Afia and Nurzaman was settled.

The day after the RJ meeting, Afia came to her father-in-law’s house with her children. The victim, Afia Begum, is currently living together with her husband and two daughters in the house of her husband, Nurzaman. Everyone is very happy that the daughters have gotten her father back; Afia Begum has gotten her husband back. They are now living in happiness and peace. The eldest daughter is going to school regularly, and her husband, Nurzaman, is going to work regularly. Everything is going normally in the family, like before. Afia Begum and her husband Nurzaman thanked to DALIT’s staff Mr. Liakat Biswas, the Restorative Justice Facilitator on duty for access to justice in the community, and Mr. Uttam Kumar Mandal and Purnima Rani Das, community paralegals. Afia said that if you had not helped me, I would not have been able to get near my husband.