Woman, sons suffocate to death in banned ‘menstrual hut’ in Nepal

The practice was banned by the Supreme Court in 2005 and a new law criminalised it last year [Al Jazeera]

A woman and her two sons suffocated to death in Nepal after she was forced to sleep in a windowless shed during her period, police said.

Amba Bohara and her children are the latest victims of an age-old Hindu practice in the Himalayan country, that was banned more than a decade ago.

Bohara, 35, and her sons, aged 12 and nine, had lit a fire on Tuesday night to keep warm in the freezing mud and stone hut, but were discovered dead the next morning by her father-in-law in western Nepal’s Bajura district, police said.

The practice of “chhaupadi” banishes menstruating girls and women to animal sheds or huts for the duration of their period, when they are thought to be impure.

“They died of suffocation because there was no ventilation and they had made the chamber airtight to beat the cold,” police official Uddhav Singh Bhat told the Reuters news agency.

“We pulled out their bodies with burned limbs.”

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