Following massive outrage over the death of 13-year-old Aradhana Samadaria after she fasted for 68 days as a part of a Jain religious ritual, the Hyderabad police have filed an FIR against her parents Lakshmichand and Manisha Samadaria. The complaint was filed by Anuradha Rao of the AP Balala Hakkula Sangha, a child rights organization based in Hyderabad.
The police have filed a case under section 304-II of the IPC, which is culpable homicide not amounting to murder, and sections of the Juvenile Justice Act. The case was filed at the Market Police station in Secunderabad on Sunday.
On October 3, hours before her death, she was reportedly playing with her father and grandfather. Around 11pm she felt sick, and collapsed and started sweating, her family says. They immediately took her to the KIMS hospital where the doctors said she died due to cardiac arrest. She was declared brought dead, her time of death recorded in the wee hours of October 4.
Many child rights activists including Achyutha Rao were enraged at Aradhana‚Äôs death. He had shot off a letter to the city police commissioner M Mahender Reddy, demanding that a case be registered against the family.
Achyutha alleges that the girl was forced to fast by her family, resulting in her death. He says that the 13-year-old was on fast as per Jain rituals during the holy period of ‚ÄėChaumasa‚Äô, the belief being that it will bring profits to her father‚Äôs jewellery business.
‚ÄúIt is a barbaric incident. It is murder and they should be punished. The officials should take strict action against such practices and never allow anything like this happen again,‚ÄĚ he says.
What has further angered many is the celebration of her death with a ‚Äėshobha yatra‚Äô, and calls to anoint her ‚Äėbal tapasvi‚Äô. The yatra was attended by hundreds of Jain community members, and her funeral conducted with religious fanfare.