Police fail to stop 'Sati' worship

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Raipur, Oct 13 (UNI) Police have been unable to stop throngs of people from worshipping the site where a 75-year-old woman allegedly committed 'Sati' in Chechar village, 125 km from here on Saturday evening.

Police force had been deployed at the spot but failed to prevent people from worshipping the 'Sati' and taking her ashes, a crime under the Anti-Sati Act. Efforts to persuade people to refrain has been of no avail.

According to police officers, nobody was being forced in view of upcoming Chhattisgarh Assembly polls.

Meanwhile, family members of Lalmati Bai, who committed 'Sati' by jumping on the pyre of her husband Shivnandan Verma (80), have been demanding construction of a temple on the site.

After Shivnandan died following a brief illness, Lalmati wanted to commit 'Sati' but changed her mind due to persuasion by people.

The woman plunged into the flames when people dispersed from the cremation spot for ritual bathing in a nearby pond at about 1900 hrs on October 11.

Prohibitory orders were subsequently imposed in the village and surrounding areas.

Superintendent of Police Anil Kumar visited the spot yesterday.

Chhattisgarh Congress Committee Secretary Rajesh Bissa held police responsible for the situation.

He said inquiry should be held into continuous worship at the spot and the SP reaching the spot 24 hours after the incident.

However, such a demand had no meaning in the BJP-ruled government.

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