news Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | December 15, 2014 | 08:49 am IST  A 65-year-old woman in Bihar allegedly commited 'sati' by jumping into the funeral pyre of her husband on Saturday, states a report by The Times of India.  The alleged incident took place in Parmania village in Saharsa district. The woman, Gahwa Devi, jumped into the funeral pyre of her husband Ramcharitra Mandal by dodging her relatives.  "When the relatives found her missing from home after performing the last rites of Mandal near his house, they went back to the cremation spot and saw her burning on the pyre," Saharsa SDPO Prem Sagar told The Times of India. The police was informed about the incident by some villagers, who alleged that Gahwa Devi's family members did not try to rescue her. But Gahwa Devi's son had a different version to tell. According to him, his mother succumbed to a cardiac arrest soon after the death of his father, following which they cremated her in his father's funeral pyre. Ramcharitra Mandal was reportedly a cancer patient and his wife could not bear the shock of his death. According to a report in The Telegraph, 'the police had no choice but to accept the villagers' "suicide" version and close investigations.' The report however raises questions on the authenticity of the 'sati' version of the incident.  The Telegraph asks 'By the time people usually leave the cremation ground for the dip (traditionally with the ashes of the deceased), the pyre is almost burnt out. Could mere embers have charred Diva Devi to death?' and 'Police say her body was severely charred - so how was her identity established beyond doubt, particularly if no one saw her jump onto the flames?'

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