BHAWANIPATNA: Ostracism of a woman for marrying outside caste chased her even after her death. Shunned by the society, the 65-year-old woman’s body was pulled in an upside-down cot by her brother in-law and sister in-law. They dragged the cot up to one km on the village road from her home to cremate her.
The incident took place on Wednesday in Kalahandi’s Tentulipada village of Koksara block after the woman, Sabitri Jued, who belonged to other backward caste (Goud Samaj) died at her home. She had married a man of other caste, a Scheduled Tribe man, for which her community members boycotted the cremation, a villager said. On Wednesday, when her two relatives asked the society members (Goud Samaj) to take the body for cremation, nobody came out for their help. Finding no alternative, the brother in-law, Raghunath Jued, along with her sister-in-law took the body for cremation. Other society members, who saw this pathetic scene, intervened and even some of them came out for their help to carry the body.
Raghunath said Sabitri was the second wife of Baidyanath Sabar, who was a migrant labour, and alleged that the people of Goud Samaj (OBC) did not accept the union and ostracised them since their marriage.
With no children, Sabitri was living alone in a kuchha house. Her husband had died six months ago, said Raghunath.
Sabitri, who was getting old-age pension under National Pension Scheme, had also a ration card under NFSA but she had no house under Indira Awaas Yojna (IAY). Koksara BDO Raghunath Mundari said Rs 2,000 from the Harischandra Yojana was given to her in-laws for her last rites and a house under IAY will also be provided to her relatives, who are also poor.
Additional district magistrate (Kalahandi) Chandramani Badanayak said Koksara BDO has been asked to conduct an inquiry into the incident.