Chhattisgarh woman jumps on husband’s pyre, people throng site

October 12th, 2008 - 3:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, Oct 12 (IANS) A 71-year-old woman in a Chhattisgarh village jumped on her husband’s funeral pyre and committed suicide, creating a sensation as hundreds thronged to view the place of the alleged ’sati’, a banned Hindu custom, police said Sunday. The incident took place late Saturday evening in Chechar village, in the interiors of Raipur district, some 125 km from here.

Police were informed about the alleged ’sati’ late Saturday night and filed a First Information Report early Sunday after visiting the spot.

“Lalmati Verma, 71, who belonged to Chechar village, jumped on her husband’s funeral pyre after all the villagers had left the site,” B.R. Mandawi, incharge Kasdol police station, told IANS.

Lalmati had come for the funeral of her husband Shivnandan Verma, 80, dressed in a new sari, Mandawi said.

“The villagers had decided to leave when the body of her husband was almost burnt, but his wife jumped on the pyre. She was reduced to ashes soon,” Mandawi added.

He refused to say whether she was provoked by anyone in her family or villagers to commit the act. Her husband had died of natural causes. The woman belonged to the Kurmi caste, categorized under the Other Backward Classes (OBC).

Mandawi added: “The woman had three sons but was living separately with her husband in a corner of an old house. Her sons had no idea of their mother’s plan, according to preliminary police investigations.”

The incident has created a sensation in the farmer-dominated village, which has a population of about 1,000. A majority of the people thronged the site, some 20 km from the village, where Lalmati chose to end her life.

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