Sons of different faiths fight over last rites of Christian mother

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The sons of a Christian woman, who follow different faiths, fight over the last rites of their mother in Maharashtra. Representational image of funeral pyre.

The sons of a Christian woman, who follow different faiths, fight over the last rites of their mother in Maharashtra. According to police, one of the two sons of a woman, who had converted to Christianity a few years back, buried her body after her death in Palghar district of western Indian state of Maharashtra. Meanwhile her other son, who followed Hinduism performed her symbolic cremation, police said on Saturday.

The incident took place at Avande village in Wada tehsil of Palghar district two days back. A dispute was cropped up there, between the two sons of the deceased woman. Each of them follows Christianity and Hinduism, over the way her last rites should be performed, police said.

“The woman, 65-year-old Fulai Dhabade, died on November 18 night due to old age. She, her husband Mahadu and younger son Sudhan had converted to Christianity a couple of years back. Meanwhile her elder son Subhash chose to remain a Hindu,” police sub-inspector Dilip Pawar said.

“After the woman’s death, a dispute came up between the siblings, over the way her last rites should be held. An unusual situation arose, as both the brothers insist that the last rites should be held as per the tradition of the religions they followed,” he said.

Elder son performs symbolic cremation

Even as a large number of villagers gathered, none of the brothers was ready to back out, Pawar said. Realising the seriousness of the situation, the ‘Police Patil’ (a mediator between police authorities and villagers) called up the Wada police station and informed the personnel about it.

“Police officer Sudhir Sankhe rushed to the village and held discussions with the family members. And finally it was decided that the body should be buried, as per the Christian tradition,” he said. Accordingly, the woman’s body was buried at Pachu Island near Vasai.

“However, the elder son of the woman was not ready to relent. He performed her symbolic cremation by placing a doll on the funeral pyre,” Pawar said.

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