Rachna Sisodia
Rachna Sisodia, 24, with her husband Devesh Chaudhary, 23 Twitter

Doctors in India have expressed their fears that a woman may have been burnt alive on a funeral pyre.

Rachna Sisodia, 24, had died of a lung infection according to doctors at Sharda hospital in Greater Noida, part of northern India's Uttar Pradesh state.

After being declared dead by husband Devesh Chaudhary, the 23-year-old took possession of her body and drove with friends to a funeral pyre location in Aligarth.

The group then began to cremate her in accordance with Hindu burial rituals. However, an attendee later dragged Sisodia off the funeral pyre, believing she was still alive.

While there were no signs of life, a post-mortem examination showed charred particles in her windpipe and lungs, suggesting this may have been the case.

Police said that the particles would not have been present if she had not been breathing, while two doctors said the cause of death was not lung infection but in fact "shock caused by being burnt alive."

Explaining the doctors' assessment Rajesh Pandey, a senior police superintendent, said: "This happens when someone is burnt alive. The particles go inside with the breath. 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."

Dr Pankal Mishra who conducted the post-mortem said that since the body was 70% burnt, he could not say for sure if it was indeed that of the victim. A DNA test will be carried out,