In a dramatic turn of events, the Uttar Pradesh police are investigating whether a 24-year-old woman was burnt alive after doctors concluded that she was breathing when her husband put her on the funeral pyre on Monday.
According to the Times of India, Rachna Sisodia, who had recently married Devesh Chaudhary, was pulled out of the pyre by the police after her family alleged that her husband was trying to burn her alive in guise of cremation. She had suffered 70 percent burns by the time her body was pulled out.
On 25 February, a day before cremation, Sisodia had been declared dead from heart complications at the Sharda Hospital in Greater Noida.
However, according to the post-mortem report, ash was found in her respiratory track, which suggested that she might have been alive and breathing when cremated. A two-doctor panel later concluded that she died on Monday because of "shock caused by being burnt alive."
Sisodia went missing from her house in Bulandshahr on 13 December last year. Rachna's maternal uncle, Kailash Singh said, "We searched for her at various places, but all in vain. Later, we got to know she was living with Devesh. We visited his village in Aligarh but failed to find her there as well." Subsequently, the police filed many cases against Chaudhary, her 23-year-old husband, and 11 others.
According to the newlywed couple's neighbours in Aligarh, they stayed there for a very short time before shifting to Noida where Rachna was pursuing a graduate degree. According to the police, on 23 February, she was admitted to Sharda Hospital's School of Medical Science & Research in Greater Noida, and died there two days later.
The hospital's death report states that on 23 February at around 8 am, Rachna was admitted with abdominal pain, breathlessness, fever and shivering, and palpitation and loose motions. She passed away on 25 February at 11.45 pm following "cardiorespiratory arrest and acute respiratory distress syndrome."
While the hospital's death report is at odds with the findings of the post-mortem report, doctors at Sharda hospital have stood by their diagnosis.
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