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Gudiya's child is mine, I will keep him forever: Arif

Aanchal Bansal

Posted: Jan 04, 2006 at 1055 hrs IST

Tired, distraught and struggling to cope with Gudiya’s death, Mohammad Arif is crumbling within. But if he was once reluctant to accept the child his wife had with second husband Taufeeq, Arif today is firm, “He’s mine.”

Minutes after the hundreds who had gathered for Gudiya’s burial in Arif’s Mundali village, near Meerut, started to disperse, Arif told The Indian Express “Gudiya came with me and so did her child. He is mine now and I will not let Taufeeq take him.”

For Arif, one-year-old Mateen “will always remind me of Gudiya”.

“There is nothing left for me and I want our only child to be with me. I will raise the child and keep him forever,” he adds, eyes filling up.

Gudiya was married to Arif in 1999, 10 days before the sapper was called on duty to Kargil. Arif failed to return from the war and was declared a deserter until the authorities realised that he had been taken prisoner of war and was in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Gudiya, who had been told that Arif was dead, had married Taufeeq, a close relative. She was pregnant, when Arif walked back across the border.

Gudiya returned to Arif following a panchayat decision, but Mateen’s fate was under a cloud with Arif not quite keen to raise the child.

Now Gudiya’s mother Sanjeeda Begum says, “The child will always remain here as Arif is his father. His mother has been buried in Mundali and so he will remain here.”

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