A HINDU woman from Tinsukia, who had eloped and apparently got married to a Muslim man from Margherita in upper Assam, was denied space for her last rites by members of both communities after she committed suicide on Saturday. On Monday, the police finally had to intervene, and had her cremated by her parents according to Hindu rituals. Tulasi Das (23) of Parbatiya, in Tinsukia, a town and headquarters of the district by the same name in north Assam, had reportedly eloped with Bitu Ali (27) of Margherita about a month ago. “But since there was no nikahnama to prove their marriage, Bitu Ali was denied entry into Margherita graveyard (with Das’s body after her suicide on Saturday),” Tinsukia’s Superintendent of Police Mugdhajyoti Dev Mahanta said.
According to him, Ali subsequently took the body to Margherita’s Hindu cremation ground but faced opposition there as well, since Das had married a Muslim. “Some people reportedly also assaulted Ali for trying to take his wife’s body into the Hindu cremation ground, although we do not have any official complaint about it,” SP Mahanta said.
The police subsequently took charge of the body, and it was kept at the police station on Sunday. On Monday, SP Mahanta shifted the body to Tinsukia, where Das’s parents accepted it and finally cremated it. “The Hindu community also permitted her cremation in Tinsukia,” SP Mahanta told The Indian Express over telephone.
Mahanta said the police have no reason to suspect there was any fight or disagreement between the couple that led her to commit suicide. “Ali has claimed that there was no quarrel between them, and her parents have also stated that they had no complaints or suspicion of foul play by Ali,” the officer said. “The postmortem examination has been carried out. We are yet to get a copy of the report,” he added.
Margherita, in Tinsukia district, about 520 km from Guwahati, is a historic town where the discovery of coal was quickly followed by discovery of petroleum in the 1880s. It is named after Margherita Maria Teresa Giovanna, the then queen of Italy, after two Italian engineers successfully laid Assam’s first railway track from Dibrugarh to Margherita in 1884.