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Octogenarian woman on Jain Santhara fast dies

An 82-year-old woman, observing Santhara (the Jain creed’s ritual fast unto death) for the last 50 days, died in Rajasthan’s Bikaner district n Saturday morning, sources close to the family said.

This was possibly the first such case after the Supreme Court on August 31 stayed the Rajasthan High Court’s August 10 judgment equating Santhara with suicide and banning it as “unconstitutional”.

“Badni Devi Daga, resident of Gangashahar in Bikane, was on Santhara from July 17. The family members tried to convince her not to do so but she insisted that she want to observe the religious fast,” a neighbour close to the family told IANS.

“She was not eating anything and was surviving only on little amount of boiled water,” he said, adding it was her own decision.

Though family members, including her children, requested her, after a week of the fast, to eat something and seek medication but she refused and continued santhara.

Badni Devi is survived by three sons and one daughter and grand childrens.