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A newlywed Indian woman, 24-year-old Rachna Sisodia, may have been burned alive in a funeral pyre after doctors mistakenly declared her dead.

Sisodia was pronounced dead as the result of a lung infection last month at a hospital in northern India. The following day, her husband Devesh Chaudhary, 23, and some friends took her body to be cremated on a funeral pyre. However, the funeral was interrupted halfway through after someone present in the service claimed that the woman was still alive.

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A postmortem report suggested that Sisodia may have still been alive at the start of the fire, detailing that there were charred particles in her windpipe and lungs. Such a conclusion could indicate that she was still breathing while she was being cremated.

“This happens when someone is burnt alive. The particles go inside with the breath,” police spokesman Rajesh Pandey explained the doctors’ findings. “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.”

Sisodia’s family have accused her husband of arranging the cremation knowing she was still living, leading police to file multiple cases against him and eleven other people. Doctors at the hospital where she was pronounced dead, however, have defended Chaudhary and are standing by their original diagnosis.

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