11/11/11 wedding ends in dowry dispute
Dhaka - A Bangladeshi man who held his wedding at the auspicious moment of 11:11 on November 11 had his hopes of a long and happy life with his wife dashed when she left him minutes after the ceremony.
Shawkat Khan told AFP that he did not know why his new bride walked out, but Farzana Yasmin said she was angered by a demand from his family for dowry gifts including a fridge and a television.
"To make the occasion special, I even published pricey cards, inviting friends and relatives to join the wedding," Khan, 32, said, explaining the event was timed to be held 11:11 on 11/11/11.
"The wedding took place at a mosque exactly at that time," Khan, a school headteacher, said, adding he had believed 11 to be his lucky number.
"We had planned a post-marriage party two days later. I have been waiting for this numeric occasion for years. I did not know that it would end up so scandalously."
Support for woman
Yasmin, 27, has been hailed by many Bangladeshis for taking a stand against dowries, an outlawed and much-criticised custom in which a bride's family must give expensive gifts to her new husband.
"I disowned him because I don't want to end up like thousands of Bangladeshi dowry victims," Yasmin, who has become a media sensation in Bangladesh, told AFP.
Local police chief Babul Akhter supported her claims, saying the marriage last Friday in Patuakhali district in the country's rural southwest fell apart over dowry demands made by the husband's aunt during the wedding ceremony.
"The bride asked the groom whether he supported the illegal gift. He nodded in support, prompting the girl to disown him," Akhter told AFP.
Khan denied the allegations, saying he was wealthy enough not to need a dowry.