Assam funeral row: Family to cremate Hindu woman ‘married’ to a Muslim
Ending two days of confusion over her last rites, the body of Tulsi Das, a Hindu woman ‘married’ to a Muslim, was handed over to her family members in upper Assam on Monday for cremation.
The 23-year-old who allegedly committed suicide on Saturday following a tiff with her “husband” was denied burial and cremation due to lack of documentary proof of the couple’s wedding.
“Finally the girl’s family came to the Tinsukia police station and took possession of her body. She would be cremated as per Hindu rites,” Puna Gogoi, in-charge of Tinsukia police station told HT.
Police said the Muslim community had refused to bury the body due to lack of proof of the couple’s wedding, and Hindus were against cremating her because she had “married” outside the faith.
Das had eloped four months ago with Bitu Ali, 27, said police. Though they lived together at a rented accommodation in Tinsukia town, there were no records to suggest they got married or either of them converted to the other’s faith, police said.
“On Saturday night, the couple, who used to quarrel often, had another tiff. While Bitu left home, the woman locked herself in and committed suicide by hanging,” said Girin Sonowal, in-charge of police station at Margherita. Bitu works at a hotel in Margherita.
“On hearing of his wife’s death, Bitu went back to Tinsukia and brought her body to Margherita for burial. But he was turned back from two burial grounds on Sunday as he didn’t have any documentary proof of his wedding as per Muslim rituals,” Sonowal added.
Das’s body was taken to her hometown Digboi, nearly 17 km away, in an attempt to cremate her. But locals refused to allow the last rites as per Hindu rituals.
“The body was brought back to Margherita. But since the suicide took place at Tinsukia, which is 50 km away from here, we sent back the body there on Sunday night,” said Sonowal.
Tulsi’s body was kept at the Tinsukia police station for over 12 hours as police officials tried to convince her family members to take it away for final rites.
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