Residents of Chanderi in Ashok Nagar district, about 270 km from Bhopal, prayed at a spot where a woman, who reportedly committed suicide following her husband’s death three days ago, was cremated with her husband.
The woman’s body was fished out from a well.
Police have rejected the theory of sati, which involves a woman burning herself to death on her husband’s funeral pyre. But it has not stopped the residents from eulogising Shakun Bai Sharma (42), who killed herself wearing her bridal finery.
Women offered bangles, sindoor (vermilion) and other articles of worship at the spot on Saturday and Sunday on occasion of Hartalika Teej, eyewitnesses told Hindustan Times.
“Going by whatever details we have got, it is not a classical case of sati, but a plain suicide by the woman,” Gwalior Range Inspector General Arvind Kumar said.
Superintendent of Police, Ashok Nagar, R.K. Arusiya said police have received no official information or complaint in the matter, but have taken cognisance of the local information.
“I have directed the Chanderi station in-charge to investigate the matter and only after that we can come to some conclusion,” the SP said.
He added that the only information available at present was that the woman’s body was fished out of a well and villagers cremated her and husband’s body together on August 20.
Sources told HT that Sharma’s husband Keshavlal Sharma (46) was a priest at Sankat Mochan Temple in Chanderi and the couple lived in a small hutment near the temple. They had no children.
Keshavlal Sharma was not keeping well and he passed away on August 20. Neighbours reportedly saw his wife free the pet dog and cow the couple had and then she went missing.