Villagers planning another ’sati’ temple in Raipur

October 14th, 2008 - 2:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, Oct 14 (IANS) Villagers in Chhattisgarh’s Raipur district are reportedly planning to construct a temple at the site where an elderly woman committed ’sati’ by jumping onto her husband’s funeral pyre, even as seven people have been held for the crime, police said Tuesday.Police deployment has been increased to foil their plans, an official said. Dozens of people had Monday offered prayers at the site in Chechar village, 125 km from here, despite a a ban imposed by the police on the worship of the woman.

On Saturday, Lalmati Verma, 71, jumped onto her husband’s funeral pyre after all the villagers had left the site on the banks at the confluence of two rivers - Mahanadi and Shivnath - in Chechar. She had come for the funeral of her husband Shivnandan Verma, 80, dressed in a bridal sari. Before committing suicide, she made a couple of rounds of the pyre holding a coconut and a copy of the Ramayana.

Police said more forces were deployed in the area after they received reports that some villagers planned to construct a small temple at the site where Lalmati committed Sati, a banned Hindu tradition.

A small sati temple already exists near the site in memory of Jheek Bai, a woman of the same village who had committed sati nearly four decades back.

Seven people - Lalmati’s three sons, three daughters-in-law and her daughter - were arrested Monday night under the Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act.

The arrests were made after nearly 100 villagers, including Lalmati’s neighbours, were interrogated, officials said.

Police claim that the seven arrested were aware about Lalmati’s plan to commit Sati, but no one made any attempt to stop her.

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