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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

In a rare but tragic incident, a 70-year old man ended his life by jumping into his wife’s funeral pyre at Sialjodi village under Golamunda block in Kalahandi district on Wednesday.

The deceased has been identified as Nilamani Sabar.

According to reports, Nilamani’s 60-years-old wife Raibari Sabar died of cardiac arrest. Her last rites were performed by his four sons and relatives at the cremation ground in Sialjodi. 

When all of them were heading back home after finishing the ritual, a deeply distressed Nilamani lost his mental balance and ran to the cremation ground. He immediately jumped into his wife’s funeral pyre much to the dismay of his sons and relatives. They tried their best, but could not save the elderly man from getting charred to death.

The tragic incident has left the people of the locality in deep shock. 

“Nilamani was a Samiti member and he had contributed a lot towards the development of the area. Almost all the people of our locality are mourning his sad demise,” said Danar Das, Sarpanch of Chahaga Gram Panchayat.

“Nilamani was a great human being. He was fully involved in the development works in the area. His death is a great loss for the entire locality,” said social worker Udaynath Barik.

The Kegaon police reached the spot afterward and confirmed the incident.

“We have recorded the statement of the four sons of the couple. According to them, their parents shared an intimate bond and their father sacrificed his life for his love. Further investigation into the incident is underway,” said Kegaon IIC Damu Paraja.

However, questions have been raised over the responsibility of the elderly couple’s four sons. The old couple was staying away from the family for certain reasons which point fingers at the negligence of the children towards their aging parents.

“Parents sacrifice a lot for the well-being of their children. Therefore, it’s the duty of the children to take care of them in their old age,” said Bharati Chakra, Chief of HelpAge India, Odisha.

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