LUCKNOW, India (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The body of a lower-caste Dalit woman was taken off a funeral pyre in India by a group of upper-caste men who said she could not be cremated on communal land, police said on Tuesday, a case that prompted angry calls for an end to caste discrimination. The funeral was being held in northern Uttar Pradesh state last week when about 200 men stopped the cremation going ahead, saying the site was not meant for lower-caste villagers, police and the woman’s husband said. “My family and I… begged them to let us perform the last rites but no one listened to us. The police were also called but nothing was done,” said Rahul Bajaniya, the woman’s husband. “We had to take the body to a different cremation ground, which is about four kilometers (2.5 miles) away, and perform the last rites there,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation from Kakarpura village, which lies close to the Taj Mahal. Bajaniya said caste discrimination in the village was so entrenched that people from higher castes “even object to us when we fetch water from the (community) hand-pump”. An online video showing men removing firewood from the… Read full this story
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