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Congress sets up committee to probe 'sati'

Written by: Staff
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Bhopal, Aug 23: The Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) has formed a two-member committee to inquire into the tribal woman allegedly committing 'sati' at Sagar district's Tulsipur village.

''MPCC General Secretary Narmadasingh Ekta is the chairperson of the committee that will visit the scene of crime. The other member is Ms Nirmala Kori,'' state Congress President Subhash Yadav said here today.

Demanding that the government institute an inquiry by a retired judge, he added it was ironical that evidence proved 'sati' but Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was altering the probe's direction by terming it a suicide.

A shocked silence descended over the Gond tribal village, in Bundelkhand region, after 45-year-old Janakrani plunged into her 50-year-old husband Premsingh Gond's pyre on the afternoon of August 21.

The incident stood apart from other 'sati' cases as the woman neither decked up prior to her extreme move nor was she egged on through glorification by villagers.

''We never thought mother would take such a step. After lighting my father's pyre, we went to a nearby river for cleansing ourselves.

At that juncture, mother left home on the pretext of attending a call of nature. I screamed when I saw her burning up and I fainted,'' says Janakrani's son Pappu Singh.

There are about 45 household in the deprived village, which is roughly 85 km from Sagar district headquarters, has a population of approximately 450, is not easily accessible and an approximately five-km stretch is so rough that only jeeps or tractors can successfully negotiate it. However, Premsingh's family was not in dire straits financially as it owns a house and land. The couple had three sons all of whom are married.

District administration officials, police and several mediapersons made a beeline for Tulsipur, which does not even have a landline telephone connection. Even the power supply is intermittent.

''Janakrani was very close to her husband and she had once told her family that she would also die if Premsingh left this world,'' says a villager.

The comparitively-backward Bundelkhand has been associated with the evil of 'sati'. Four years back, a 62-year-old plunged into her husband's pye in Panna district's Patna Tamoli village.

''The case is not of 'sati'. Prima facie it appears that she reached the cremation ground after her family members and others left the place. Besides, tribals do not practice 'sati'.

Nevertheless, a magisterial inquiry will be conducted and action taken against those who glorify the incident as 'sati','' Collector Shivshekhar Shukla told UNI.

UNI

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