APWWS seeks Guv’s intervention in  enacting laws to ban polygamy, bigamy

ITANAGAR, 8 Apr: Arunachal Pradesh Women’s Welfare Society (APWWS) reiterated the urgent need to enact a law, banning polygamy and bigamy in Arunachal Pradesh.

Expressing deep concern over the prevailing ill practices, APWWS president Kani Nada Maling urged the Governor to intervene and address the pressing issue by directing the state government to enact a law, banning polygamy and bigamy.

 “This harmful practice has demonstrably negative consequences, particularly for women and children,” the APWWS president wrote to the Governor.

“Since its establishment in 1979, the Arunachal Pradesh Women’s Welfare Society has been resolute in its mission to combat polygamy and secure better opportunities for tribal women and children in the state. Despite our unwavering efforts, we are confronted with numerous challenges in advocating for women’s rights. Presently, we are witnessing a disturbing surge in cases of domestic violence and homicide directly linked to the abhorrent practice of polygamy and bigamy, wherein men are socially sanctioned to marry multiple wives. The absence of adequate legislation has provided a breeding ground for the proliferation of polygamy,” the letter read.

“In recent times, our state has been rocked by two sensational cases that have not only shocked the entire community but have also raised serious questions regarding the safety and security of married women,” it said.

“On March 21st, 2024, a tragic incident unfolded in Lekhi Village, Naharlagun, Papum Pare, wherein late Techi Neme Tok tragically lost her life under deeply distressing circumstances. It has come to our attention that Tok Tama, the ZPM of I-Borum Panchayat, along with Ms. Techi Demin, purportedly his illicit-relationship lady, stand accused of abetting late Techi Neme Tok’s demise. The orchestrated demise of late Techi Neme Tok allegedly by her husband and accused mistress has left our community reeling in shock and mourning. The subsequent investigation led to the arrest of Tok Tama, while Ms. Techi Demin remains at large, evading law enforcement. This dire situation necessitates immediate and decisive action to ensure that justice is swiftly and effectively served,” the letter read.

“I must also draw your attention to another distressing incident, wherein seven-month pregnant late Techi Meena was allegedly murdered by hired killers at the behest of her husband, Lishi Roni, November 5th, 2020. Furthermore, the involvement of the main accused’s mistress Ms. Chumi Taya in the instant case, further complicates the matter. This case, which has languished before the District and Session Court, Yupia, Papum Pare, for an extended period, underscores the need to address systemic issues such as polygamy prevalent in our tribal society,” Maling said in her letter.

She also stated that children raised in polygamous households may also face emotional and social challenges.

“It is observed that children from broken families, particularly those resulting from polygamous relationships, often suffer the most. Urgent action is needed to preserve the sanctity of the institution of marriage and safeguard the well-being of families and children,” she said.

The APWWS president said that many cases of such nature go unreported due to societal pressure. “Failure on the part of the state government to take decisive steps will only perpetuate such atrocities in our society,” Maling said.

“Despite our persistent appeal to the state government to outlaw such practices through legislation, concrete action is yet to be taken,” Maling lamented and urged the Governor to direct the state government to enact laws to stop the bad practices.