Regional Passport Officer (RPO) at Chandigarh suspended the passport issued to Rahul Chauhan, an assistant sub-inspector of the Haryana Police who went AWOL in September 2017. Interestingly, though, ‘deserting the force’ wasn’t the reason why RPO Sibash Kabiraj acted against the ASI. Married in 2012, the policeman abandoned his wife before fleeing to Mexico to enter the US illegally through its southern border. Unaware of what was happening, Reena Mehla (maiden surname) continued talking to Chauhan on WhatsApp till her in-laws revealed that their son had fled the country and would have nothing more to do with her.
Chauhan’s was the first passport to be revoked on the basis of a complaint brought by an ‘abandoned bride’-one among thousands left to fend for themselves in Punjab, Haryana, Telangana, Kerala and other states. Since May, Kabiraj says, his office alone has impounded the passports of some 75 NRI spouses, issued showcause notices to scores of truant grooms as well as several family members charged with matrimonial abuse. Still, he admits that “what’s been done is no more than a drop in a huge cesspool of deceitful marriages”.