THE POLICE on Thursday arrested four sons of the 95-year-old woman Karuya who allegedly committed sati on the pyre of her husband Siyaram Rajput (100) in Babniyani village of Gaurihar tehsil on Wednesday evening. Collector Ajatshatru Shrivastava has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident.
While the administration has stoutly denied that it was an act of sati, there are conflicting reports about the incident. One report has it that the woman had declared her intention to sit on the husband’s funeral pyre days ahead of Siyaram’s death.
Another report says the sons may have put the woman on pyre, as she was too weak and infirm to do so herself. There were around 20-25 persons present during the funeral and none opposed the sati, according to Londi SDM ON Pandey. But unofficial report put the figure in hundreds.
The four brothers, Dhruvpal (40), Kripal (47), Kuber (50) and Baldu (53) were arrested on the charge of murder under Section 302 of IPC and Prevention of Sati Act, 1987.
Chhatarpur SP Chanchal Kumar, who is camping in the village to prevent sati glorification with a heavy police force, said the incident occurred around 4 pm and he came to know about it at 7 pm on Wednesday.
The police will arrest all the persons who attended the funeral for abetting the murder. “It is not sati; it is murder,” he averred.
Governor Dr Balram Jakhar has also expressed deep shock over the incident and asked the State Government to see that all the persons involved in aiding and abetting the incident are booked under murder charge. He has sought a report on the incident.
The Wednesday incident has come close on the heels of similar act in Tulsipar village of Sagar district on August 21. Janakrani (45) had jumped on the funeral pyre of her husband Prem Adivasi (55). The district administration termed the incident as suicide.
Awareness needed to curb sati: CM
Warning that strict action will be taken against those responsible for an alleged act of sati, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Thursday emphasised need for awareness among masses to prevent such incidents. “Mass awareness is needed to prevent attempts of sati, its glorification and prevention of such social evils,” Chouhan told reporters in Bhopal.
He said a magisterial probe has been ordered into Karuya committing sati at Baniyani village in Chhatarpur district last evening. “Strict action will be taken against those found guilty and those trying to glorify sati,” the Chief Minister said.