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German NRI arrested after he got married a fifth time

Another NRI caught for 'holiday marriages'
Jalandhar, Sep. 14, 2008

The free run of a Germany-based non-resident Indian (NRI) indulging in "holiday marriages" during his frequent trips to India has been curtailed by the Punjab Police - but not before he got married at least five times in as many years.

The NRI, Gurdev Singh, who is in his 50s and based in Hamburg, Germany, is now cooling his heels in a police lockup after he was finally arrested by the police on Friday immediately after he got married a fifth time.

Singh's luck with converting all his holiday trips to India into honeymoons ended when his fourth wife, Rajinder Kaur, tracked down his past and came to know that he not only had three wives other than her but was all set to get married a fifth time.

Incidentally, the wedding list of the NRI came to the knowledge of the Punjab Police in Bholath town of Kapurthala district, 40 km from here, last week only when he was arrested in another case of embezzling Rs 500,000 from Nazir Chand with the promise of settling him abroad.

Singh was declared a proclaimed offender (PO) by the police in that case which was registered in 2002.

"We raided his home in Bholath but did not find him there. He was finally nabbed from Chintpurni (a temple town in neighbouring Himachal Pradesh, 90 km from here) where he was getting married again," Bholath station house officer (SHO) Gurwinder Singh said.

So sure was the NRI about his repeated wedding plans that in his fifth marriage to a woman called Rosy, he even took a Scorpio sports utility vehicle (SUV) costing over Rs.700,000 as dowry among other things.

His other wives included a German woman called Maria, Rajinder Kaur of Jalandhar district, Promila, a woman from Palampur town in Himachal's Kangra district, and another woman from Hoshiarpur town, 40 km from here.

It was Rajinder Kaur, his fourth wife, who tracked his past and future plans and informed the police. She claimed that Gurdev lived with her for three weeks in 2004 before going back to Germany and not getting in touch again.

None of the other "wedding" victims of the NRI complained to the police despite being cheated by him.

This is not the first incident of NRIs indulging in 'holiday marriages' in Punjab. The custom of NRIs coming to Punjab for holidays and getting married is quite common.

The 'holiday marriage' plans of a Britain-based 60-year-old non-resident Indian (NRI) went awry in April this year when the police arrested him after his earlier wife complained that he had cheated her.

The cheated wife, Harjinder Kaur, 42, and activists of the Lok Bhalai Party (LBP), a social and political organization in Punjab that takes up cases of illegal immigration and fake marriages, filed a complaint with the Punjab police after which the house of NRI Malkiat Singh in Model Town here was raided.

Kaur, a divorcee, claimed that she got married to the NRI earlier in 2008 with the hope of settling herself and her two children aged 18 and 13 years.

The marriage was fixed at the behest of a local marriage bureau here. Kaur claimed that the marriage bureau forced her to sell her house worth Rs.1.5 million for just Rs.750,000 and took the money from her for marrying her with the NRI.

She said that her NRI husband later refused to get the marriage registered saying that he had done this only for his holiday trip in India.

"When we confronted him about his earlier marriage, he said that he was not married to Kaur at all and remained unrepentant," LBP general secretary Ramandeep Singh Bharowal said.

In Kapurthala district March this year, a Britain-based non-resident Indian (NRI) groom's desire to get married a second time illegally without seeking divorce from his first wife ended in tragedy for him after he was not only beaten up at the venue of his wedding ceremony but also arrested by the police.

NRI Rajwinder Singh's D-day to get married to Harpreet Kaur of Ganganagar in Rajasthan turned sour soon after his wedding party comprising nearly 200 people reached the marriage palace and was confronted by activists of the LBP, who asked him for proof of his first marriage having legally ended.

"His first wife Sarabjit Kaur had sent a message to us that her husband was getting married illegally after telling her that he had come to India for a holiday," LBP leader A S Mullanpuri said.

When the groom failed to furnish any proof, the LBP activists and others gave him a sound thrashing before handing him over to the police. Most of his relatives ran away from the venue after they were chased.

The police later booked him for cheating and arrested him.