Madhepura, Sep 13: A landless man belonging to Mahadalit (most backward) community had to bury his wife's body inside his house because neighbours refused to allow cremation on their land. The incident took place in Kewatgama village in Bihar’s Madhepura where there is no community crematorium.
Sahogiya Devi, the wife of Harinarayan Rishidev, died on Monday after falling ill a day before. “She was suffering from diarrhoea. When no villager was ready to allow cremation on their land, I decided to bury her in my house,” Rishidev, a landless daily wage earner, told Hindustan Times. The incident highlights the plight of landless people of the Scheduled Caste.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had made the category of Mahadalit to classify the poorest among the Dalits. Rishidev demanded a separate cremation ground for Mahadalits in every panchayat, adding that people of the community are not only denied a life with dignity but also after death they are deprived of a dignified cremation or a burial.
“I do not want this to be repeated with my other landless brethren,” the 40-year-old said. Following the incident, Madhepura’s sub-divisional officer (SDO) Brinda Lal along with Kumarkhand circle officer visited the village. The SDO assured a piece of land for cremation after holding talks with the villagers.