Bhilwara: Sohni Devi, 44, a Jat, was a widow whose Husband had died in 2004, had married Narayan Balai, a Dalit and also a widower, whose wife died in 2012.
Sohni was 10 years elder than Balai. Together they lived for five years in Rajasthan’s Suwana village in Bhilwara. On February 4, she died in a hospital in Jaipur due to tuberculosis.
According to the news reported in Hindustan Times, when Balai brought his wife to village for cremation, no one from the village helped him. There was only one person who came to help Balai. The Jat community in the village decided not to help him and they just watched Balai struggling. One of the members of the Jat community also commented that the dead body be carried in a Municipal vehicle which carries animal carcasses and other wastes.
Yashdeep Bhalla, the station house officer at the Sadar police station said that “What could I have done? It was not a law and order situation. I couldn’t have forced the villagers to participate in the funeral.”
The caste divisions are so deep in the state that it was acknowledged by the Chief Minister of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje itself.
The only person who helped Balai was his friend Ram Chandra Harijan.
When Sohni Devi was alive, she used to help other women and lend them money when they were in need, but after her death, no one from the village came forward to help her husband in funeral rites.
The SHO said that, with the help of his staff and his friend, at 5 pm cremation was done by Balai.
One woman, when asked about their reluctance to help the family, said that the decision was taken by the community of the village and no one can defy it.