Hyderabad police shut probe into Jain girl's death due to fasting; cite insufficient evidence against parents

Almost five months after a 13-year-old girl died in Hyderabad following 68 days of fasting, the city police have shut the case and dropped charges against the girl's parents for lack of evidence.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

According to a report in Hindustan Times, the Secundrabad Market police have said they didn't find any evidence to suggest that Aradhana Samdariya was forced by her parents to do tapasya, which may have led to her death.

"We have done a thorough investigation. We've also called for a report from the authorities of the hospital where Aradhana was brought dead. We have also sought a second opinion from a team of doctors from the Government Gandhi Hospital on what could have led to her death. But we could not find any evidence to prove that her parents forced her to do tapasya," said Hyderabad North Zone deputy commissioner of police B Sumathi.

Aradhana, a Class VIII student of a private school, was on a 68-day fast last year. Her fast ended on 1 October, 2016, and she was put on a liquid diet. Two days later, on the night of 3 October, she suffered a cardiac arrest, and her family members took her to a hospital where she was declared dead on arrival. It's suspected that the cardiac arrest was brought about by an imbalance in salts following her fasting.

Following her death, based on a complaint registered by local child rights NGO 'Balala Hakkula Sangham' (Child Rights Association), a case was registered under Section 304 (II) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 75 of JJ (Juvenile Justice) Act.

In the complaint, the NGO had alleged that the girl's parents and her other family members made her undertake the fast for 68 days as part of the Jain ritual.

However, the child rights committee has been left fuming by the police's decision, the HT report further adds. "This is atrocious. Instead of framing the charges against the parents under Section 302 (murder) of the IPC, the police had conspired with the Jain community and closed the case without proper investigation. We will continue the legal battle,” child rights committee honorary president P Achyuta Rao said.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Mar 27, 2017 15:51 PM

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