Woman sarpanch killed for lighting mother’s pyre

Village sarpanch Geeta was fulfilling Surjubai’s last wish

April 04, 2015 04:55 am | Updated 05:01 am IST - MOHDA (RAIPUR)

In this March 31, 2015 photo, Geeta Prahlad, sarpanch of Mohda village in Chhattisgarh performs the last rites of her mother. Photo: Special Arrangement

In this March 31, 2015 photo, Geeta Prahlad, sarpanch of Mohda village in Chhattisgarh performs the last rites of her mother. Photo: Special Arrangement

A woman sarpanch has lost her life for fulfilling her mother’s last wish. On March 31, Geeta Prahlad, sarpanch of Mohda village in Raipur district of Chhattisgarh, defied tradition and lit the pyre of her mother Surjubai. Although Surjubai had a son, she wanted Geeta to perform the last rites.

Two days later, on Thursday, Geeta was killed by her elder brother, Santosh, alias Tejram Verma, and his younger son, Piyush. The duo hacked her to death for denying a son his right.

“Santosh threw my grandmother out from his home 22 years ago. My mother was looking after her all these years. He did not perform his duty as a son when my grandmother was alive but killed my mother for doing something which every daughter should do — fulfil her mother’s last wish,” said Kushboo, Geeta’s 19-year-old daughter who was with her mother during the attack. Geeta’s son Vikram tried to save his mother and was injured.

Asked if Geeta had any property dispute with her brother, her husband Aniruddha Singh Prahlad said she had not claimed any property. “Geeta’s act might have hurt Santosh’s ego. He shouted after murdering my wife that it was entirely his right to perform Surjubai’s last rites,” Mr. Singh told The Hindu .

After killing Geeta, Santosh and Piyush attacked her younger sister Seeta and were hunting for Aniruddha Singh before the police arrested them. “Santosh already held a grudge against his sister for being more assertive and successful in life. She was elected the village sarpanch two months ago and had ensured that her mother was looked after properly. He has confessed to his crime,” said Inspector Alim Khan of Dharsinwa police station covering Mohda village.

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