The Hyderabad Police on Sunday booked the parents of a 13-year-old girl who died after fasting for 68 days as part of Jain rituals. A case was registered for culpable homicide not amounting to murder after a First Information Report was filed against Laxmi Chand and Manshi. They have also been booked under the Juvenile Justice Act, ANI reported.
Aradhana Samdariya had been fasting during the holy period of “chaumasa” and was admitted to hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest. Santhara, or the Jain ritual of fasting unto death, is usually observed by elderly people or those suffering from serious illnesses. Around 600 people attended her funeral, which was celebrated as a “shobha yatra”, and she was hailed a “bal tapasvi”.
Child rights NGO Balala Hakkula Sangham had approached the police after she died. Its president Achuta Rao had alleged that the parents had forced her to fast to bring luck to their struggling family business. However, her parents denied this. Her grandfather had said, “We did not hide anything. Everyone knew Aradhana was fasting.”