A body is reportedly awaiting cremation in Udaipur district for the past ten days owing to the tribal ritual of ‘mautana’, where compensation is sought by the family and relatives of the deceased — usually in cases of a‘ ‘unnatural’ death — from the persons they might view as the direct or indirect cause of death.
“The family of Vehta Pita Hada, who died recently, has been holding consultations over the demand of mautana and is seeking compensation from the family of Kokhariyas, on whose complaint he was lodged in jail,” said Kotda Circle Officer Vad Ram. “We’ve had discussions with the family and have been assured of a cremation by Wednesday night or Thursday,” he said. “Vehta and others of Gawar tribe had attacked the Kokhariyas last year in October. We had arrested 19 persons, including Vehta, under IPC sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 452 (house trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of Rs 50), 379 (theft), etc.” Vad Ram said. “Now they are reasoning that the Kokhariyas must pay mautana, since Vehta died as he was lodged in the jail on their complaint.” “Vehta, 45, was lodged in a jail for over an year. He was unwell and recently admitted in a hospital, where he passed away on November 30,” said Kotda SHO Ranjeet Singh, adding that “we are constantly in touch with his family.”
Vad Ram said that the Vehtas have only two houses in Udaipur and the extended family resides in Sabarkatha in Gujarat.
“The family had gone to Gujarat to consult the kutumb (family/clan) over mautana. We have tried to convince them and have also spoken to local politicians in Sabarkatha. The cremation should take place soon,” he said, adding that “the ritual is common in these parts.”