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Jains hit the streets against Rajasthan High Court banning Santhara

Jains hit the streets against Rajasthan High Court banning Santhara

The members of Jain community took to streets in a nationwide protest against Rajasthan High Court judgement holding the practice of Santhara illegal.

Jaipur: The members of Jain community took to streets in a nationwide protest against Rajasthan High Court judgement holding the practice of Santhara, which involves fasting unto death, illegal. Earlier in August, the court in its verdict on a PIL filed in 2006 had ruled that Santhara is illegal like suicide.

While the community is also in the process of going in appeal against the court's order, thousands of people from Jain community came out in silent rallies in support of Santhara. In Rajasthan the protest is being staged in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kota among other cities.

Addressing the protestors, Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria said, "We also have the legal option which the community will exercise against the court's order. Apart from that, everyone has a right to protest peacefully which is what the community is doing today."

Pramila Badjatya, a member of the Jain community, questioned the judgement. "How can the court equate it to suicide, this is a purely spiritual practice to attain purity taken up by realized people", she asked.

Ritu Jain, another member of the Jain community, said that Santhara is not a common thing. She said that it was taken up by very few people just before their death. "We practice non violence to the extent that we are careful to not harm even smallest of organisms, how can we force people in the society or our families to take up Santhara if they don't want to," said Ritu.

first published:August 24, 2015, 15:45 IST