By Yagnesh Bharat Mehta
His heart ailment, diabetes and other diseases don’t give this 63-year-old farmer sleepless nights. It’s the sheer agony of his sixth wife, 21 years younger to him, refusing to share bed that causes him all the heartache.
When people were desperately seeking some panacea for coronavirus in September last year, Ayyub Degiya was determinedly hunting for a seventh wife, after almost five months into his sixth but unconsummated marriage.
Degiya, a wealthy farmer from Kapletha village in Surat district, got married for the sixth time in September 2020 and separated in December after the younger woman allegedly refrained from keeping a physical relationship with him. “She did not allow me to sleep with her. She used to complain of infection. I have heart disease, diabetes and other diseases. I need a wife who can keep a relationship with me,” Degiya told TOI.
Degiya’s first wife is alive and lives in the same village with their five children, aged between 20 and 35 years.
The 42-year-old Rander woman, a widow, did a background check on Degiya and was shocked to discover that she was biwi no. 6. Last week, she lodged a complaint against him in Mahila police station. The accused has been booked under IPC section 498-A (cruelty to married woman).
“He got married to more than five women before marrying me but kept me in the dark. After deserting me, he is now living with another woman even when his first wife is alive. I was told by some villagers that he keeps relations for a few months with women and later abandons them,” the complainant told TOI.
Chandresh Jobanputra, her lawyer, added, “In December, Degiya dropped the woman at her sister’s house in Rander saying he was going out of town. He assured to pick her up upon return. But he never came back and hence she approached the police.”
Jobanputra said Degiya initially approached her family claiming that he wants to marry and support the woman as she is a widow. He said it was permissible under their faith. He promised to give her Rs two lakh worth jewellery and a house, a promise which he allegedly reneged upon.
Degiya, however, could not give a satisfactory reply when asked why he separated from all his previous wives.
Asmita Pargi, investigation officer at Mahila police station said, “Degiya told us that he does not wish to live with the woman as she is unfit to fulfil his physical demands. Further action will be taken after registering statements of all those concerned. ( TOI )