- NET Web Desk
The buried body of a villager was exhumed and cremated as per Hindu rituals by the authorities in Assam’s Darrang district as locals refused to help his family with cremation due to social exclusion, owing to his inter-caste marriage 27 years ago.
According to the deceased’s wife, Atul Sarma, a 50-year-old resident of the Patolsingpara neighbourhood in Darrang, passed away on Tuesday, but the villagers declined to assist with the final rites.
“The villagers instructed us to perform the final rituals on our own. One of my husband’s brothers stepped forward, but as he was alone, he managed to bury the body rather than cremate it,” – she said.
The couple’s son, who was away, could not return before his father’s body was buried on Tuesday.
The son later claimed that his parents had been socially ostracized ever since their marriage about 27 years ago as his mother belonged to a ‘lower caste’.
As the news of the incident spread, local civil and police administration officials reached the village on Friday and with consent from the family, arranged for exhuming the body.
“The body was exhumed in the presence of a magistrate. After completing legal formalities, the cremation was arranged by us,” a police official said.
Following the post-mortem examination of the body, it was consigned to flames by the deceased’s son on Friday evening.
Representatives of the Koch-Rajbonshi community, to which Sarma’s wife belonged, visited the family and demanded action against the villagers who had ostracised the family.
A senior police official said no case has been registered yet, though one person has been detained for questioning.
“We are looking into the matter,” he said.