news Thursday, July 23, 2015 - 05:30
When a father wanted to perform last rites of his alive daughter Varsha Torgalkar “With great pleasure we announce that our daughter Nikita **** *** died at 12.30 pm on July 14. We request the honour of your presence at the ceremony of her last rites at 10 am on Sunday 19 July at *** Nagar Kasare” – a father with self-respect. A flex banner with above message was put up at the entrance of Kasare village in Dhule district of Maharashtra by Avinash on July 15. He wanted to announce death of his daughter (who is very much alive) as she married a man against his wishes. The banner horrified and shook the villagers. Avinash, who is over 50, is a primary school teacher. He sent invitations to friends and relatives through social media that went viral across the state. Nikita, (19) is in her second year of a degree in science at a local college. She eloped with Narendra (24) a businessman from Dhadane village in Dhule district a month ago and married him on June 15. Although both of them belong to the same caste – Kunabi Maratha – the marriage was unacceptable to Avinash. Besides, he feared that he would not get a suitable match for his elder daughter because of Nikita’s marriage. To keep his honor intact, he decided to publicly perform Nikita’s last rites and put up banners at the most crowded place of the village and also sent messages via mobile. Nikita has been staying with her husband and her in-laws in Dhadane since she eloped. She was aghast to learn that her father would perform her last rites. She approached the Sakri police station within the limits of which, Kasare village falls and produced her marriage certificate and other relevant documents proving that she was a major. Inspector D V Vasave summoned Avinash to the station and obtained an undertaking from the latter that he would not perform the last rites of his daughter. “We seized the banner and counselled him,” said Vasave. Sparked state-wide outrage and pressure from villagers, police and social activists forced him to cancel the ceremony. He has since apologized and assured the police that he would not go ahead. Social activist Krushna Chandgude says, “This is the bitter truth of caste system and honour of the families in the progressive state like Maharashtra.”  Nikita and her husband have switched off their mobiles and were not reachable for comment.  (Only first names have been used to protect the privacy of the people)
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