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Sunday, November 14, 1999 Published at 23:56 GMT

World: South Asia

Indian police counter sati worship

Police in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh say they've sealed off a village where a woman committed suicide by jumping into her husband's funeral pyre.

For several days thousands of people have come to pay their respects to the dead woman, whom they see as having followed the ancient but illegal Hindu practice of sati.

The district police chief, L Ravi Kumar, said the woman's death was not an act of sati -- in which she would have been wearing her bridal dress -- but a sudden and impulsive suicide.

A BBC correspondent says that despite the long-standing ban on sati, many people still remember such incidents with respect.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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