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70-year-old woman commits 'sati' in Bihar

By MI Khan
December 14, 2014 18:02 IST
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A 70-year-old woman allegedly revived the age-old tradition of sati by jumping into the funeral pyre of her husband in Bihar’s Saharsa district.

Gahwa Devi, 70, performed sati on Saturday evening when she walked into the pyre at Parmania village in Saharsa.

Local police official Rudal Kumar, who had visited the village after the incident, has confirmed the incident and that the cops have have begun their investigations.

The police said that some villagers informed them of the act. According to them, Devi jumped into the pyre after male members of her family had left the cremation site. When her family couldn’t find at her home, they returned to the cremation ground and found her dead.

“Her family members did not make any attempts to rescue her when they found out what she had done,” an official said.

Saharsa Superintendent of police Pankaj Sinha has also confirmed that shocking incident took place but he refused to describe it as sati.

”It is a fact that an old woman jumped into the funeral pyre of her husband and ended her life. But it is not sati,” he said,

“While her family members were washing up as per rituals after the last rites, she managed to reach the cremation ground and then jumped into the fire. By the time, her family had realised she was gone, she had been burnt to death,” said Sinha. 

However, Devi’s son Ramesh Mandal denied the whole incident, saying his mother had died hours after his father’s demise owing to shock and they cremated her at the same funeral. “My mother died of shock over the demise of my father.”

According to villagers, Devi was unable to bear the loss of her husband and killed herself. 

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