A Muslim couple in Jalpaiguri district have been ordered by local religious leaders to separate as the husband allegedly uttered talaq ["Divorce" — ed.] three times in his sleep.
While the couple, who have three children, refused to obey the order since there was no discord between them, the community leaders are adamant that they must separate or face a "social boycott".
Aftab Ansari and Sohela have been married for the past 11 years. However, on the night of December 20 last year, Aftab allegedly uttered talaq three times in his sleep after a tiff with his wife.
The matter came to light when Sohela discussed it with her close friends and soon it reached the ears of the Muslim leaders.
The leaders, quoting the shari'ah, ruled that the talaq has to be implemented and if it is not acceptable, the only alternative was temporary separation for 100 days during which the wife will live at her father's house and spend a night with another man.
She can remarry her husband only after the man has given her talaq. As the couple were unwilling to accept the verdict, the matter went to the family counselling centre at Falakata police station.
The counselling centre, attended by judges of the Alipurduar sub—divisional court, discussed the problem in detail on Saturday, but failed to find a solution.
Hat tip: N.S. Rajaram