NOTWITHDTANDING DEPLOYMENT of heavy police force at nearby Baniyani after an old woman allegedly committed ‘sati’, people thronged the village in a bid to perform religious rituals, even as authorities on Sunday stepped up its drive to prevent glorification of the event.
The spot where 95-year-old Kuria Devi was allegedly burnt to death in her husband Siyaram Rajput’s pyre on September 20 was ploughed and ashes of the couple removed to prevent glorification of ‘sati’, official sources said.
Attempts to glorify the incident would be strictly prevented and police, including Special Armed Forces jawans, were deployed at Baniyani, District Collector A Shrivastava told PTI.
While most menfolk of Baniyani chose to keep away from their homes after the incident, residents of neighbouring villages thronged the village, but broke coconuts and threw flowers at an isolated spot due to police presence, sources said.
“Nobody will be allowed to perform any ritual near the funeral site,” Superintendent of Police Chanchal Shekhar said. Despite police deployment, villagers made clear their intention to construct a temple in memory of Kuria Devi who, eyewitnesses claim, had announced her decision to commit ‘sati’.
“She donned a red sari, wore makeup and participated in the funeral procession, carrying a coconut. At the funeral site, she went around the pyre and sat on it with Rajput’s head on her lap, before the pyre was lit even as people chanted her name,” her grandson, Rampratap, claimed.