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82-year-old woman performs Santhara, dies

News Agencies | Updated on: 5 September 2015, 17:14 IST

Badni Devi, an 82-year-old woman from Bikaner, Rajasthan died on 5 September after performing Jain ritual of 'Santhara'. She resumed the ritual after Supreme Court stayed the order of Rajasthan High Court which banned the practice.

She quit food and was living only on little amount of water. She died in a way she had wished, family member Surendra Daga said.

"We pray for her soul. She died peacefully and it was the blessings of the God and we are happy at it," he said.

Badni Devi, a resident of Gangashahar area, took the resolution of 'Santhara' on July 17 though the ritual was socially undertaken on July 25, Jain Mahasabha secretary of Bikaner Jain Lunkaran Chajed had said.

The octogenarian woman is survived by three sons, one daughter and grand children.

Earlier on August 10, when the Rajasthan High Court had held 'Santhara' as illegal making it punishable under section 306 and 309 of IPC related to abatement of suicide, she continued her fast albeit secretly and family members called it 'tapasya'.

On August 31 the Supreme Court stayed the Rajasthan High Court decision declaring the religious ritual a penal offence.

Following the Supreme Court's verdict, Badni Devi publicly resumed her 'Santhara'.

Under the religious practice, the follower takes the vow to give up food and water as a way of embracing death.


First published: 5 September 2015, 17:18 IST