Indian woman kills herself on husband's funeral pyre

An Indian woman threw herself on her husband’s funeral pyre, committing suicide in line with an ancient Hindu custom that persists despite a two-century ban on the practice.

The charred body of Janakrani Narayan, 45, was found on her husband’s pyre by neighbours in the village of Tulsipur in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, the Hindustan Times said.

The villagers denied any knowledge of her intentions to commit sati, as the ritual suicide is known, and insisted they did not witness the act, committed on Monday.

Villagers said she had sneaked away after the funeral, saying she needed to use the bathroom. They only started to search for her after she had been missing for some time.

India has struggled in recent decades to put an end to sati. While rare, the practice persists mainly in rural regions where widows are often shunned because of a belief they will bring bad luck and tragedy to the community.

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