Suicides not tied to new cremation rules
There was no direct relationship between the alleged suicides of several elderly rural residents in Anqing, Anhui province and new burial rules that require cremation, authorities said.
The Oriental Morning Post in Shanghai reported that six elderly people committed suicide so their bodies could be buried legally in coffins.
Starting June 1, all corpses must be cremated, according to a notice from the Anqing government on March 25.
China has been encouraging cremation since the 1950s out of concern for land use, among other things. The national cremation rate reached nearly 50 percent in 2012.
The Anqing government announced funeral reforms in 1994 and 2006, but they failed because of tepid support from residents.