Hyderabad: The family of the girl who died out of fasting for 68 days as per Jain rituals, has been booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
The family had said Aradhana, a class 8 student, was admitted to the hospital two days after completing her fast where she died of cardiac arrest. The family says the girl was religiously inclined and had earlier undertaken fasts for seven days and 34 days.
“She asked permission for upvaas (fast). We asked her to stop after 51 days but she would not give up,” her father Lakshmichand Samdariya said, adding “Her fast was voluntary. No one forced her.”
Achyuta Rao, child rights activist, says there is no question of a minor – that too a 13-year-old – exercising her own free will. “The girl was forced to go into fasting by the parents and elders as the Choumaas is auspicious days for Jain community and it is a remedy for problems. They should have stopped her, not encouraged her,” he said.
What’s worrying now is that Aradhana being hailed as a ‘Baal Tapasvi’ who got moksha could have undesirable fallout on other youngsters.
Jain Sthanaks are held everywhere to familiarise youngsters with the Jain way of life and philosophy. Critics say glorifying Aradhana’s death could condition youngsters into believing hers was a path worth emulating.