Multi-religious last journey of Vadodara man

Vadodara: Following a dispute between the wives of a dead man over the custody of his body, he was cremated as per Hindu customs, after Christian rituals had already been performed on him, police said.

The man-Rajendrakumar Omkarbhai Katariya, who died due to massive cardiac arrest on Sunday, was cremated after Christian rituals in Godhra about 60 kms from here on Monday night. The incident was a fallout of the dispute between his first wife Pushpa and second wife Sangita, both of whom sought the custody of their husband`s body, they added.

After separating from his first wife Pushpa and her two children, the deceased had been staying with Sangitaben, a Christian woman and also had two children from her. He had also converted to Christianity. After he died on Sunday, Sangita and her family started preparing for his burial as per the Christian rituals.

However, when his first wife Pushpa and his son Mithilesh learnt about Katariya`s death, they rushed to Sangita`s house and sought the dead body for its cremation as per Hindu rituals. They also sought police help in getting the custody of the body.

Senior officials of the district collectorate and police also tried their best in sort out the matter. About 20 hours after his death, Pushpa and her son Mithilesh produced an affidavit, signed by the deceased in 2007, saying he had not married Sangita.

Following this, Sangita and her family members decided to hand over his dead body to Pushpa. However, by then Christian prayers and other rituals had already taken place, police added. And Rajendra Kumar was cremated amidst chanting of Hindu slokas.