Bangladesh´s highest court has ruled that a woman who took her life four years ago is a Muslim and can be buried alongside her husband, ending a high-profile legal battle over interfaith marriage.
The court ruled last week that Hosne Ara Lazu did convert to Islam after marrying Humayun Farid Lazu in 2013, despite her family´s insistence that she returned to Hinduism before her death.
The families opposed the union between a Muslim and a Hindu and pressured them to call off the match. The girl´s father went so far as to file allegations with police of kidnapping against the young man.
Lazu, 21, killed himself in 2014 amid the turmoil.
But when his 18-year-old wife swallowed poison less than two months later, the case made national headlines as the families went to court over how she would be buried.
The wife´s family demanded a Hindu cremation while the husband´s relatives asked that she be buried in accordance with Islamic tradition, close to her husband´s grave.
The bitter feud reached the country´s top court where judges ruled Thursday that the woman did convert to Islam and must be buried accordingly.
“She can now be buried as a Muslim beside her husband´s grave,” said Samir Majumdar, the lawyer representing the woman´s family.
The woman´s parents had said she converted back to Hinduism after her husband´s death.
But the court ruled differently, instructing that her body be released from the mortuary — where it has been since her death — within two days of publication of its judgement.
The court also ordered local authorities to ensure police protection is provided during the girl´s burial to avoid any disturbances.
An estimated 90 per cent of Bangladesh´s 160 million people are Muslims. Hindus account for less than 10 per cent.