Abu Salem, who is facing trial for his alleged role in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case, has accepted the marriage proposal of a Mumbra woman so that she is able to walk 'holding her head up high' in society.
It was reported in January 2014 that the gangster had married the 25-year-old woman 'over the phone' during a train journey when he was being taken to Lucknow for a court hearing. Though Abu Salem had denied the report, the damage was done, as far as the woman was concerned.
The woman said the newspaper report, which also carried her photograph, was false. But the social stigma of being linked to a gangster spoiled her chances of getting married to anybody.
Left with no option, she decided to marry the gangster and accordingly, moved the Terrorist And Disruptive Activities Act (TADA) court last week through her lawyer Farhana Shah.
In her affidavit, she claimed the report of her marriage with Abu Salem had 'ruined her life'.
The woman stated that marrying Abu Salem was the only way out to repair her ruined life. So, she requested the court to grant her permission to marry him, failing which she would be forced to commit suicide.
Her plight moved the gangster, who agreed to marry her in his two-page reply submitted to the court on Monday.
Here is the reply of Abu Salem submitted to the TADA court on 29 June, as quoted by NDTV:
"I respect the feelings of the woman and also understand her position; I have no intention that will cause her further disrepute and disrespect. I do not intend to be the cause of any further untoward circumstances... as it has been claimed by her that she will commit suicide if she does not get permission to marry me.
"I was unaware of the fact that the woman had to face such things in the name of investigation. I apologise from the bottom of my heart to the woman for whatever sufferings she had to undergo because of my name getting tagged with her.
"I appreciate the bold stand taken by the woman of seeking permission from this honourable court to get married to me before the registrar under the Special Marriage Act. The fact that the woman has approached this honourable court shows that she has been hurt and she intends to get married to me and I also, with great respect to her feelings and character, intend to go ahead with the said proposal.
"I am not doing any favour to her by accepting her proposal but (I am accepting it) with great respect and gratitude. I don't want her to be further defamed because of me or my name. I also undertake to care for her in all respects once she gets married to me and that she will not be further defamed as officially she will be my wife.
"I want to complete the formalities of marriage at the earliest so that the woman can freely move around and will be able to meet and answer all her relatives, friends and well-wishers with her head up in the society. I, with folded hands, must humbly request Your Honour to kindly consider and grant us the said permission."