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Rajasthan: 83-year-old Jain woman dies after 50 days of 'Santhara'

New Delhi: 50 days after observing 'Santhara', an 83-year-old woman in Gangashahar of Bikaner in Rajasthan passed away today.According to family members of Badni Devi Daga, she breathed her last at 8am.This is first such
India TV News Desk September 05, 2015 23:59 IST
India TV News Desk

New Delhi: 50 days after observing 'Santhara', an 83-year-old woman in Gangashahar of Bikaner in Rajasthan passed away today.

According to family members of Badni Devi Daga, she breathed her last at 8am.

This is first such death after a legal battle over the Jain community's right to follow the ritual of voluntarily starving to death.

The Jain's religious ritual 'Santhara' came under the spotlight after the Rajasthan High Court termed it as illegal and made it punishable under Sections 306 (abetment of suicide) and 309 (attempted suicide) of the IPC.

The Supreme Court, however, stayed the High Court's order and issued notices to the Rajasthan government and Centre to answer within four weeks why it had opposed the practice.

An average 240 Jains practice 'Santhara' each year in India. Also in the first half of 2015, around 118 Jains observed 'Santhara' across India.

Around 300 BC, Chandragupta Maurya (founder of the Maurya Empire) undertook 'Santhara' atop Chandragiri Hill, Śravaṇa Beḷgoḷa, Karnataka.

The Jains believe Santhara is not only about death, destruction of life and mortal body. They believe that Santhara leads to non-violence, as person observing this practice subjugates the passions, which are the root cause of violence.