Posted by Guest in Featured Articles on 05 7th, 2009
Anandi Mukharjee, a student activist based in New Delhi writes about Sabra Ahmadzai, an Afghan girl who travelled from Kabul to Pithoragarh to Delhi in search for an Indian Army Major who had married her in Kabul but had disappeared 15 days later. Mukharjee narrates Sabra’s quest for justice as the army investigates her claims of marriage and being deceived.
While the inquiry is in progress, the Indian army Chief, Deepak Kapoor, says action will only be taken if the Major is found guilty.
‘If an inquiry reveals that an army man is at fault, he is automatically liable to appropriate disciplinary action and it will be immediately taken. The army does not believe in shielding a perpetrator of any kind of corruption or crime,’ says Kapoor.
But he also adds that the army has done its own investigation and has a certain ‘dichotomy’ between army records and what Ms. Ahmadzai claims in her records to the police.
‘The dichotomy stems from the fact that her so-called marriage took place in December. As per our records and according to the details of the officer on the Mission to Afghanistan, he was there from January to November. So there is a basic dichotomy between what the FIR has said and what the officer has done when he was detailed there.’ says General Kapoor.
I have actually lived with Sabra for a while, during her stint in New Delhi. From talking to her and knowing her personally, it’s obvious that this case is everything for her. While the Home Ministry turns her away everyday, she refuses to lose hope. She wants to fight the case in the civil courts, but since Major Pant is an army person, she needs the permission of the Home ministry to do so, and well, the Home Ministry seems to be too busy with other things – they never give her the appointments she wants. And yet, Sabra comes back with a smile on her face everyday. She is grateful for the love and support she gets from us, the student activists and many others. One can’t see an iota of bitterness in her.
I personally let Sabra live with me because I was moved by her spirit. Her journey – from Kabul to Pithoragarh to Delhi has not been an easy one. And yet, this sheltered Afghan girl has taken everything in her stride. When one asks her, she just says, ‘for a woman, this is life. But I’m also fighting for other women like me. What happened to me should not happen to anyone else – that is what my fight is for.’
She has her bad days, she looks at his photographs and breaks down, but she is a remarkably strong person. And that, I believe is the spirit of women. She knows her case might take years, but she is not willing to give up. As the saying goes – ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.’