SRINAGAR: In the heart of Jammu and Kashmir, a tale of deception has unfolded, leaving behind a trail of shattered hearts and broken dreams. This story revolves around a woman who managed to deceive and defraud as many as 27 grooms, leaving them emotionally devastated and financially drained.
The woman, whose true identity remains a mystery, operated under various aliases, assuming different names such as Zaheen, Ilyas, and Shaheena. While reports suggest her real name is Shaheena, the extent of her manipulation and deceit has left many questioning who she truly is.
Exploiting the vulnerability of desperate men yearning for companionship, the woman preyed upon their emotions and trust. Collaborating with a network of brokers, she orchestrated fraudulent marriages, promising happiness and a future together. The unsuspecting grooms willingly participated in traditional marriage rituals, including the payment of a mehar, a customary gift or payment to the bride.
However, their hopes for a blissful married life were shattered when the woman vanished without a trace. Using visits to her parent’s home in Rajouri as an excuse, she abruptly left, leaving behind a wake of devastation and heartbreak. The grooms left bewildered and betrayed, were forced to grapple with the emotional and financial aftermath of their shattered dreams.
As the victims began to share their stories, a disturbing pattern emerged. They realised that they had all fallen victim to the same cunning woman, who effortlessly manipulated their hearts and minds. Driven by a shared sense of desperation and a quest for justice, the deceived grooms united and approached the local police in Budgam district, demanding action against the master manipulator.
“I was desperate to get married, and my marriage had been delayed for many years. When a local middleman approached me, claiming that I needed to pay Rs 2 lakh to marry her, I thought it was my chance. Little did I know that it was all a ruse,” expressed Altaf Mir from Budgam, one of the deceived grooms.
“After just two weeks of our marriage, she disappeared, claiming that she needed to visit her parents in Rajouri. I was left heartbroken and bewildered.”
Mohammed Rafiq, a victim from Pulwama, narrated his harrowing experience: “In the dark of the night on November 16, 2022, I got married to her. But just six days later, she escaped, leaving me devastated. It was then that I realised I had been deceived too.”
“I had paid Rs 50,000 to Mohammed Ayoub Ahanger and another Rs 1,50,000 to a middleman from Rajouri to arrange the marriage. But she duped me,” Mohammed Rafiq recounted, expressing his sense of betrayal and the financial loss he suffered.
Abdul Ahad Mir, a resident of Khan Sahab, shared the distressing account of his son’s marriage: “We arranged the marriage with the woman, bearing expenses of around Rs 7 lakhs. However, she disappeared after claiming to visit a doctor, leaving my son bewildered. Later, we discovered that she had already married another man just 15 days after our wedding.”
Describing the role of the middleman in their ordeal, one of the victims revealed, “Abdul Hameed Mir showed me pictures of two women and assured me that I could choose one for marriage. He said it would cost around Rs 2 lakhs. We travelled to Rajouri, and stayed for 21 days, but the marriage didn’t materialise. During that time, I handed over Rs 50,000.”
Another victim shared the tragic aftermath of his short-lived marriage, saying, “She vanished from the house during the dark of the night, taking everything with her. We had given her three lakh and eighty thousand, including gold worth more than five lakhs as Mehr.”
Nisar Ahmed, yet another victim from Budgam, recounted, “She went to the hospital with my mother and escaped from there.”
The authorities, shocked by the scale of the deception, promptly launched an investigation to apprehend the woman and her collaborators. The police suspect the existence of a larger inter-district racket involving multiple accomplices, suggesting that this deceitful operation reaches far beyond the immediate victims. With an unknown true identity and aliases used on marriage documents, the woman’s web of deception extends deep into the criminal underworld.
While the victims wait for justice to be served, they have found solace and support in one another’s company. Bonding over their shared experiences, they are providing strength and understanding to each other. Together, they vow to ensure that their stories are heard and that others are spared from falling into the same trap.
Guiding them through this challenging journey is their lawyer, Abid Zahoor Andrabi, who is determined to uncover the full extent of this fraudulent operation. He is unwavering in his commitment to exposing all those involved, holding them accountable for their actions and ensuring that justice prevails.
As this tale of deception continues to unfold, it serves as a cautionary tale for society at large. It sheds light on the vulnerability that accompanies the search for love and companionship, urging individuals to remain vigilant and conduct thorough background checks to protect themselves from falling victim to similar scams.
As reporters ventured into the elusive bride’s home in a Rajouri village, they encountered her sister-in-law, who resided in a modest dwelling, unaware of the extent of Shaheena’s actions. She disclosed that the family was aware of her two marriages but was astounded by the revelation of 27. She revealed that Shaheena had two children from her first marriage and had even attempted suicide at one point.
In the wake of this staggering deception, the victims and their supporters remain resolute. Their pursuit of justice is fuelled by the hope of preventing others from enduring the same heart-wrenching fate. Their collective efforts aim to expose the manipulative web spun by this serial con artist and bring an end to her reign of deception, ensuring that no more hearts are broken and lives ruined.
The lady has spoken in Jammu saying she has married only twice. All other claims about her marriage are incorrect, she alleged. “If it is proved that I had married so many times, hang me,” she claimed, insisting, “If I am being slandered, the people behind it must face justice.”