Hajra fought tooth and nail to get her share in property
Afsana Rashid, Indian administered Kashmir
After death of her husband, Hajra Begum’s [name changed] son denied her share in property and inflicted torture on her.
Resident of a village in Ganderbal, Hajra was married to farmer with meager source of income. Out of her father’s financial assistance, he acquired some agricultural land. Toiling hard, couple raised property of 30 kanals [1,632,00 sq ft] of orchards and a house.
Subjecting her to physical and mental torture, Hajra’s son compelled her for second marriage and to give up claim over property. He denied share to his three sisters also on pretext that as per customary law in village widow gets only life interest in property of her husband and daughters married outside village aren’t entitled to inherit.
Those who tried to interfere were humiliated and First Information Report was filed against them under various charges.
Hajra filed a civil suit to get her due. In process, she and her daughters were lodged in police custody on false complaints so as to coerce them to surrender their claim. But this didn’t deter them, their struggle continued till they succeeded.
A year later, Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Personal Law Application Act of 2007 was passed repealing Sri Pratap’s Jammu and Kashmir Consolidation of Laws Act of 1920 A.D [framed to safe guard feudal interest] and section 67 of Jammu and Kashmir Tenancy Act.
Many such cases exist in valley where women toil laboriously to generate property but property is never in her name and her share is never given to her.