Superstitious villagers disown young mother's dead body

Superstitious villagers disown young mother's dead body

Superstition that a dead body entering their village will be disastrous for their welfare; villagers in Telangana forced a bereaved family to move the dead body of a 28-year-old mother of an infant out of the village on Saturday.

The villagers enforced their dictum on the grief stricken family because the nursing mother died on an "inauspicious" Amavasya (new moon) day. This incident took place in Turkayamjal village, on the outskirts of hi-tech Hyderabad.

Malathi, wife of Mallikharjun, a labourer, died of ill-health after delivering a girl child last month. The poor couple was living in a rented house at the YSR Indiramma Colony (poor people's colony) in Turkayamjal village. The landlord, who believed that it is inauspicious to keep the dead body in the village on Amavasya, forced the hapless tenant to take his wife's body out of the village. Even the villagers refused to help Mallikharjun, believing that it is a bad omen.

After failing to convince the villagers, the husband and his relatives took the body to an open place near a local pond and kept it under a shamiana. Police reached the spot and tried in vain to convince the adamant villagers. Village sarpanch K Mangamma Shiv Kumar, however, backed  the bereaved family. The sarpanch persuaded the villagers to allow the funeral procession to start from Mallikharjun's rented house. Mallikharjun refused to lodge a police complaint fearing repercussions.

The couple had migrated from Mahbubnagar district to Turkayamjal years ago in search of livelihood.

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