The Regional Passport Office (RPO) in Chandigarh has constituted a core group comprising deserted wives of Non-Resident Indians, in order to take stricter measures against NRI grooms who abandon their spouses.
The core group, which has four such brides, was recently given a room at the RPO office. The step to allocate an office to them was taken after a huge number of women abandoned by NRI husbands visited the passport office to seek steps against them.
The core group has been formed to help the newlywed brides who are facing a similar situation. The department is also mulling over launching a helpline number to assist these women.
Due to the shortage of staff in the passport department, four of the abandoned wives — the youngest among them is a 22-year-old young woman — offered their services to the office to prepare the data of NRI grooms leaving their wives. These women have been given a data operator, a computer and printer. They are also being helped by an official from the RPO office.
“We are preparing a list of such NRIs and soon it will be shared with the Indian missions of the respective countries for seeking the suspension of passports of such NRIs who have criminal cases and court cases pending against them,” Regional Passport Officer Sibash Kabiraj was quoted as saying by the Tribune.
So far, the department has made a list of around 100 such NRI grooms, the publication reported, quoting sources.
The four women working in the department have offered their services for free.
“There are nearly 30,000 deserted honeymoon brides in Punjab. I am one among them. On the 15th day of marriage, Gurpreet Singh, the groom from Patiala, fled along with his mother to Australia. My parents inquired and were shocked to learn that it was Gurpreet’s fifth marriage,” Amritpal Kaur, one of the four women assisting the department, was quoted as saying in the report.
The Indian government in March had informed the Lok Sabha that 3,768 complaints were received by Indian missions and posts in foreign shores from distressed Indian women during 2014-17. Most complaints are related to dowry and ill-treatment by NRI husbands. In 2017, the missions received 1,186 complaints.
Minister of Women and Child Development (WCD) Maneka Gandhi on June 6 said that marriages of all NRIs solemnized in India will now have to be registered within 48 hours, else the passport and visa would not be issued.
The WCD Ministry had earlier issued five Look-out Circulars (LoC) pertaining to NRI matrimonial disputes.