Women's groups in the Indian state of Rajasthan are protesting against a court ruling allowing devotees to offer prayers at temples dedicated to women who were burnt alive on their husbands' funeral pyres.
The practice, known as sati, was banned in India in 1829.
Rights activists say the court order is glorifying the ancient Hindu custom.
Cases of sati are now rare in India, but temples commemorating the act still draw huge crowds of devotees in many rural areas.
Several of the women's rights groups said they plan to challenge the ruling in the country's Supreme Court.
"It is an effort to revive the practice in the name of worshipping", said Kavita Srivastava of the People's Union for Civil Liberties.
She said the temple managers wanted to see the prayer ban lifted so they could gain huge amount of money in offerings.
Sati worship was banned across India about 15 years ago.
But the state high court allowed devotees to offer prayers at two such temples in Rajasthan on Friday.
The order came following petitions by temple managements.
One temple manager said they moved the court to protect the rights of the devotees.
Sati cases have sparked national and international outrage.
The latest incident was reported last month in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh where a 65-year-old woman burned to death on her husband's funeral pyre.
An investigation is on and 15 people have been arrested for abetting the act.
Monday, 19 August, 2002, 18:41 GMT 19:41 UK
The punishment is being imposed to convey a message to the society as a whole
Madhya Pradesh official
The state government is also asking central government in Delhi to take similar measures.
Indian law forbids widows taking their lives on the funeral pyres of their husbands, in a banned Hindu practice called "sati".
An official statement issued by the state authorities says they have accepted the recommendations made by the National Commission for Women which carried out an inquiry into the incident.
The state government says stern disciplinary action will be taken against state employees posted in the village who failed to stop the women's death.
The National Commission for Women is also known to be considering demanding the imposition of a collective fine on the entire village to help ensure such an incident does not happen again.
The authorities say they are planning to arrange seminars to acquaint elected representatives and civil servants with the provisions of the Sati Eradication Act of 1987.
The death of Kuttu Bai on 6 August caused a stir in Madhya Pradesh and outside the state, leading to Chief Minister Digvijay Singh himself taking steps to implement the recommendations of the National Commission for Women.
"The punishment is being imposed to convey a message to the society as a whole," an aide to Mr Singh told the AFP news agency.
The suspects in Madhya Pradesh state face charges of murder and conspiracy, the authorities say, and include the woman's two grown-up sons, who apparently did nothing to stop her.
"Sati", or the ancient Hindu practice of a woman immolating herself on her husband's pyre, has long been banned in India, and those found abetting it face the death penalty.
Policemen who tried to stop the ceremony in Panna district say they were forced back by the angry crowd.
One of the officers told Reuters news agency he had caught hold of the woman, Kuttu Bai, but had been beaten and pelted with stones.
"It is not clear if the woman committed the act voluntarily or if she was forced to do so," he said.
Extra police have been deployed in the area to prevent attempts to glorify the incident - although local villagers insist they want to worship the woman as their new goddess or "sati mata".
Cases of sati are very rare.
The case sparked national and international outrage.
Police charged Roop Kanwar's father-in-law and brother-in-law with forcing her to sit on the pyre with her husband's body, but the two men were acquitted by an Indian court in October 1996.
However the widespread media attention surrounding the case led India to enact legislation calling for the death penalty for anyone abetting sati.
Sati is believed to have originated some 700 years ago among the ruling class or Rajputs in India.
The Rajput women burnt themselves after their men were defeated in battles to avoid being taken by the victors.
The custom was outlawed by India's British rulers in 1829 following demands by Indian reformers.
But despite the long-standing ban, sati is still seen in some parts as the ultimate act of fidelity.
Four years ago police in Uttar Pradesh had to seal off a village after a woman committed suicide by jumping into her husband's pyre.
For several days thousands of people thronged the village to pay their respects to the dead woman - but the police said it was just an impulsive act of suicide rather than a contemplated act of sati.