Dead bodies can't be used for protests in Raj - state govt passes Bill

In the Bill, a provision has been made for punishment and fine for those protesting with dead bodies instead of performing the last rites on time

Rajasthan legislative assembly (photo: IANS)
Rajasthan legislative assembly (photo: IANS)
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IANS

Now, dead bodies cannot be used for protests in Rajasthan. Neither the family members will be able to protest with bodies nor will any third party be allowed to do so. Those doing so will be punished.

The Rajasthan government on Thursday came up with a Bill to honour dead bodies, which was passed after a debate in the Assembly. However, the opposition BJP has compared it to the MISA Act of Emergency.

In the Bill, a provision has been made for punishment and fine for those protesting with dead bodies instead of performing the last rites on time.

According to the provisions of the Rajasthan Respect for the Dead Body Bill, the family will have to perform the last rites of the deceased on time. If any family member uses the dead body to protest or allows or gives consent to any leader to use the body for protest, he can be jailed for up to two years.

If any leader or non-relative uses a dead body for protest, a provision of punishment has been made for him/her for five years.

Meanwhile, the BJP MLAs opposed the provision of punishment in the Bill. During the debate on the Bill, the BJP MLAs from the tribal districts opposed it, saying that there is a provision of 'mautana' (compensation to be received from the other party after death) on the death of someone in an accident in the tribal areas, in which case the body needs to be preserved till the decision is taken.

The Bill is against tribal culture, they claimed.

Leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore said the Bill reminds of laws like MISA by making provision for punishment on demonstration with dead body.


"Who protests with dead bodies unless huge injustice is done? But you will sentence them for two years," he said.

"Similarly, if any leader takes part in any such demonstration, provision has been made to punish him for up to five years. The new law intends to suppress the voice of the people, which will not be tolerated," Rathore said.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shanti Dhariwal, while turning down the objections raised by the opposition, said that incidents of protesting with dead bodies for demanding jobs or money were increasing continuously.

"There were 82 incidents of such protests during the BJP rule. From 2019 to 2023, 306 such incidents were reported. Had this law not been brought, this figure would have increased further," he said.

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