Relatives refuse to cremate man who married Dalit woman

July 24th, 2008 - 4:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, July 24 (IANS) Relatives of a man who died July 22 in a Chhattisgarh village refused to cremate his body because he had married a Dalit woman. Later, the body of Durga Sahu, 45, was handed over to a social organisation based in at the state capital here for cremation.

Sahu died after a long illness at his native village Tendua, dominated by the backward Sahu community. He was socially boycotted by his own family and other villagers after he married a Scheduled Caste Satnami Samaj girl, Meena Bai, nearly two decades back. The couple did not have any children.

The village is right on the outskirts of Raipur.

“Sahu was living in social isolation since his marriage and was doing labour work along with his wife but his earnings were hit two years back when paralysis affected him,” village sarpanch (head) Savitri Sahu told IANS Thursday.

“When he died Tuesday, July 22, majority of his relatives and villagers thronged his house but all refused to cremate him and attend his funeral as he was a socially boycotted person.”

“Anyhow we contacted the police and then the police telephoned a Raipur-based social organisation - Mukti Sardhanjali - that cremates unclaimed bodies,” the sarpanch said.

As per reports, some senior residents of Tendua did request the villagers to respond to the plea by Durga’s widow and ensure his cremation, but none came forward.

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