The Hyderabad police on Monday informed the Lokayukta that murder charges could not be pressed against the parents of 13-year-old Aradhana, the Jain girl who died two days after ending her 68-day-fast on October 3.
The Times of India quotes the report submitted to the Lokyukta as stating, "As per the contents of the petition, it is clear that the child underwent fasting for 68 days as per the Jain community ritual during Choumas period called Tapasya. Further, it is alleged that she died under suspicious circumstances in the early hours of October 3. Based on the facts, neither there is an intention nor wilful act on the part of the parents of the child and community members. The act of the child is nothing but a ritual in the community.The alleged facts will not attract the provisions of murder punishable under section 302 of the IPC."
The Lokayukta has directed the police to submit an inquiry report by November 29.
For more than 2 months, the 13-year-old had not had any food, surviving only on boiled water. Late in the night of October 3, a day after she finished her long fast, she fainted and was rushed to the hospital, where doctor said she died due to cardiac arrest. She was declared brought dead.
The incident came into light on October 7, after a complaint with the Hyderabad police, seeking action against the girlâ€™s parents.
On October 9, the Market Police station in Secunderabad registered a case under section 304-II of the IPC, which is culpable homicide not amounting to murder, and sections of the Juvenile Justice Act, after an FIR was filed against Aradhana's parents Lakshmichand and Manisha Samadaria.
The News Minute had earlier reported that the Hyderabad police was finding it tough to arrest her parents, as the body was cremated before the news even became public, and the certificate by a doctor was the only evidence that the police had.
Meanwhile, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) ordered the Hyderabad police commissioner and collector to inquire into the death.
Deccan Chronicle reported that the commission took objection to the alleged forced fasting after her parents were reportedly advised by a Chennai based priest to perform the Chaturmas (fast) for her fatherâ€™s business to recover.
The NCPCR has also asked for a detailed inquiry report from the police within 10 days.