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Santhara verdict: Jains to hold mega protest today

    Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), August 23, 2015: Members of the Jain community will take out rallies in several cities and towns across India on Monday to protest against the recent Rajasthan High Court order on Santhara, a practice of fasting unto death.

    Calling the practice illegal, a double bench of the high court had called the ritual punishable under Section 309 of IPC (attempt to suicide) and said encouraging the practice would be treated as abetment to suicide.

    The call for Monday’s protest has been given by Dharma Bachao Andolan Samiti that has representatives from all Jain sects.

    The committee has requested Jains not to go to offices or send their children to educational institutions on Monday. Traders belonging to the community have been asked to keep their establishments closed. Followers have also been asked not to withdraw or deposit money in banks on the day of protest. Community leaders will also request followers of other faiths to join the protest. As part of the protest, memoranda will be submitted to the Prime Minister, Governors, Chief Ministers, collectors and tehsildars. In the run-up to the mass protest, several Jain community members tonsured their heads over the last couple of days. In Lalitpur, Uttar Pradesh, alone, thousands reportedly shaved their heads on Saturday. On Sunday, hundreds followed suit in several towns of Madhya Pradesh. Community leaders claimed that some of those who tonsured their heads belonged to other religions. The community has already challenged the high court order in the Supreme Court. Following the order, several meetings and smaller protests were held at several places. In MP, huge rallies were taken out in Ratlam and Ujjain. Different cities were scheduled to hold mass protests on different dates before the Jaipur-based Samiti gave a call for a mass protest to maximise the impact. – News Courtesy: The Indian Express

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