Society

Woman Mistakenly Burned Alive In Funeral Pyre

| by Sarah Zimmerman

After doctors declared a woman dead from a lung infection, her grieving husband made arrangements to cremate her body. However, it wasn't until her body was burning that they realized that she was actually still alive.

Rachna Sisodia, 24, was pronounced dead Feb. 25 at 11:45 p.m. at Sharda hospital in Greater Noida, according to The Indian Express. Doctors said that she died from "cardiorespiratory arrest and acute respiratory distress syndrome," a type of respiratory lung failure that causes fluid to build up in the lungs.

News Heads reports that her husband, 23-year-old Devesh Chaudhary, took possession of her body at 1:27 a.m. Feb. 26, and quickly organized a cremation ceremony to be held at 8 a.m. that same day. 

The funeral scene quickly devolved into chaos when one attendant pulled the woman's half-burned body off the pyre, screaming that Sisodia was still alive. 

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A post-mortem found charred particles in Sisodia's windpipe and lungs, which could have only occurred if she was breathing at the time of cremation.

"This happens when someone is burnt alive," said a police spokesperson, reports News Heads. "The particles go inside with the breath. If a person is dead, such particles cannot reach the lungs and the windpipe. So, the doctors concluded that the woman was burnt alive on the pyre."

Doctors agreed that Sisodia died not from a lung infection, but from the "shock caused by being burned alive."

Sisodia's family is pressing charges against her husband, saying that he murdered his wife by orchestrating a fake cremation. The Sun reports that Sisodia had been reported missing from her home since Dec. 13, 2016. Her uncle believes that Chaudhary kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and then murdered Sisodia.

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"We searched for her at various places, but all in vain," said her uncle, according to The Indian Express. "Later, we got to know she was living with Devesh. We visited his village in Aligarh but failed to find her there as well."

Police are officially investigating Chaudhary and 11 others who are believed to be involved. Chaudhary maintains his innocence, saying that Sisodia's uncle is framing him and his relatives in order to acquire his property.

Meanwhile, the doctors who treated Sisodia on Feb. 25 stand by their diagnosis, saying that there is no way for morticians to even confirm that it was Sisodia's body that they were autopsying, as 70 percent of the body was covered in third degree burns.

News Heads reports that a piece of bone has been preserved in order to conduct DNA tests.  

Sources: News Heads, The Indian Express, The Sun / Photo credit: Davenbelle/Wikimedia Commons

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