Woman Dies By Suicide Over Pressure To Become Sati By In-Laws

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In a tragic event, a woman died by suicide by jumping into the Sabarmati River after being repeatedly pressured to become a “sati” by her in-laws. The in-laws of the woman had been pressuring her to perform Sati after the death of her spouse.

Sangita Lakhra, a 28-year-old computer engineer from Bhilwara, Rajasthan, reportedly died by suicide after jumping into the Sabarmati River under strain as a result of her in-laws’ persistent pressure to turn to sati. The age-old practice in which a widow burns herself alive on her husband’s funeral pyre is banned in India.

Lakhra wrote a suicide note in which she described the alleged harassment her in-laws had allegedly inflicted upon her following the death of her husband last year.

Suggested Reading: Widowed Mother In UP Assaulted For Wanting To Remarry: Is This A Refined Version Of Sati?

In-Laws Pressure Woman To Become Sati

The woman went missing on May 10 after leaving her house for work, and her body was discovered in the early hours of May 11. Her father, Ramesh Lakhra complained about her mother-in-law and four other persons to the Sabarmati Riverfront (West) police. He accused them of domestic abuse.

According to the complaint, the woman had been struggling with depression for a year due to facing harassment from her mother-in-law and four other members of her husband’s family.

Additionally, according to the FIR, the woman left a suicide note in her journal in which she claimed that her mother-in-law, Kailash Devi Lakhara, and four other members of her in-laws’ family had harassed her and pressured her to commit sati. She apparently apologised for taking such a drastic step in the text and audio messages that she left for her brother Nimesh as well.

Lakhra’s husband passed away on and she moved to her maternal home in Surat after facing harassment and taunts from her in-laws.  She had also begun working at a mall in Vesu last month before she died by suicide.

In-laws should treat their daughters-in-law like family because that’s what they are. At the very least, they must treat them like human beings. Even if the husband passes away, forcing the woman to end her life is an inhuman act. Additionally, it should be noted that forcing your daughter-in-law to commit sati is an illegal act and that the law against the long-abolished practise of sati was strengthened in 1988 with the Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act of 1987.

The pressure on daughters-in-law to live up to their in-laws’ expectations is already exceedingly high due to a number of cultural norms. And if they don’t feel supported by their in-laws they may have feelings of loneliness and hopelessness as a result of all this stress. This issue tends to occur more frequently in India than everywhere else, making it a peculiarly Indian concern.