Mrunal Manmay Dash

In a stark example of casteism still crawling in the lower rungs of the society, a woman was denied hands to carry her bier after her death forcing her relatives to take her to a crematorium on a rickshaw trolley.

The shameful incident was reported from Kuchinda in Sambalpur district, where the society (Samaj) denied the body of a woman, Gomati Chhatria last respect because she was punished by the Samaj for going against the ‘rules’ and marrying off her daughters to grooms from other castes.

As per reports, Gomati has seven daughters and the husbands of all of them belong to other castes. Going against the Samaj rules brought their ire which did not cooperate with her, even after her death.

The Samaj even allegedly threatened her relatives who wanted to carry her bier to the crematorium, forcing them to carry her body on a rickshaw trolley.

“She (Gomati) was not in good terms with the ‘Samaj’. When I tried to give my hands to carry the bier, the Samaj restricted me and threatened to punish me. When I asked them how we take her body for cremation and last rites, the Samaj did not answer. So we are forced to carry the body on a rickshaw-trolley,” said her nephew Sushant Chhatria.

“We inquired about her (Gomati) and found that she was banished from the ‘Samaj’. Her relatives should have informed us after her death so that we could have made arrangements for her last rites. We are sorry that she died,” said Sambalpur district president of Kishan Jaati Samaj, Panchanan Pradhan.