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Monday, 19 August, 2002, 18:41 GMT 19:41 UK
India cuts aid to 'sati' village
A gathering of Indian women
Sati was widely practised in some Indian regions
The authorities in India's central Madhya Pradesh state have cut off financial aid to a village where a woman burned to death on her husband's funeral pyre two weeks ago.


The punishment is being imposed to convey a message to the society as a whole

Madhya Pradesh official
The village council running the Patna Tamoli village in northern Panna district will receive no monetary aid for the next two years.

The state government is also asking central government in Delhi to take similar measures.

Indian law forbids widows taking their lives on the funeral pyres of their husbands, in a banned Hindu practice called "sati".

An official statement issued by the state authorities says they have accepted the recommendations made by the National Commission for Women which carried out an inquiry into the incident.

High-level action

The state government says stern disciplinary action will be taken against state employees posted in the village who failed to stop the women's death.

The National Commission for Women is also known to be considering demanding the imposition of a collective fine on the entire village to help ensure such an incident does not happen again.

The authorities say they are planning to arrange seminars to acquaint elected representatives and civil servants with the provisions of the Sati Eradication Act of 1987.

The death of Kuttu Bai on 6 August caused a stir in Madhya Pradesh and outside the state, leading to Chief Minister Digvijay Singh himself taking steps to implement the recommendations of the National Commission for Women.

"The punishment is being imposed to convey a message to the society as a whole," an aide to Mr Singh told the AFP news agency.

See also:

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