New Delhi: Renowned kabaddi player Pooja Sharma, who has won several medals for the country, has now become a victim of domestic violence and has approached a trial court seeking custody of her child, and maintenance from her estranged husband, who she claimed forcefully, took away all her prize money and her two-and-a-half-year-old son.
The court took cognizance of Pooja’s complaint and has ordered her husband Piyush Bhai Thakkar to give her maintenance of Rs 30,000 per month and return all her prizes including lakhs of cash amount to her. Metropolitan magistrate Purva Sareen also ordered police to ensure that Pooja’s son is returned to her, considering he was “forcefully taken away from the airport” by her husband. The magistrate also ordered Piyush to give a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to Pooja for torturing her by forcefully separating her from her son.
In her complaint, Pooja stated that she met Piyush in 2010 when she went to China to participate in the Asian games. They became friends and soon friendship blossomed into love. Pooja claimed that Piyush established physical relations with her before their marriage, adding that he even made a video clip of it.
On August 23, 2011 they got married but problems arose soon after the marriage when Piyush started demanding Rs 30 lakh which Pooja had won for achievement in sports. The complaint added that physical and mental harassment followed until Pooja gave Rs 30 lakh, kept in the form of fixed deposits, to Piyush on November 8, 2011. Pooja also contended that Piyush also forced her to terminate her pregnancy in 2011.
In January 2012, Pooja was again awarded a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh for her achievement in sports and Piyush again forced her to give the money to him, the complaint said. In February 2012, when Pooja became pregnant again, she did not inform him immediately so that abortion could not be done. Pooja alleged that atrocities at her matrimonial home in Ahmedabad continued despite her surrendering to the illegal demands of Piyush and two of his reltives, who are also respondents in the case.
Piyush started blackmailing her on account of the intimate videos he had made earlier. “She was even deprived of her day to day expenses and basic needs. On June 7, 2015, the complainant was badly assaulted and contemplating her safety, she left the house along with her son and reached the Ahmedabad airport…from where Piyush ran away with the child,” the court said, while noting Pooja’s allegations.
The magistrate ordered Piyush to immediately return the child to Pooja and said a young child “needs the care and affection of his mother the most.” Folowing the court’s order, the child has now been returned to Pooja. Piyush was arrested on matrimonial cruelty and dowry charges but is presently on bail.