Family hit with homicide charges after fasting death
THE family of an Indian schoolgirl who died after observing a two-month fast has been charged with homicide amid allegations that she was coerced to undertake a controversial religious ritual, police said.
Aradhana Samdariya, 13, collapsed and fell into a coma two days after finishing a 68-day fast and died of an apparent cardiac attack in southern Hyderabad city on October 4.
M Mattaiah, the investigating officer, told AFP the girl’s parents and other family members were charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder over complaints by advocacy groups that she was coerced to fast in accordance with a Jain ritual.
Jainism is an ancient, nonviolent religion with more than 4 million followers, mostly from affluent trading communities, living in India.
According to her family, Samdariya had pledged to observe the 68-day long penance and over the marathon fasting period was only allowed to drink boiled water twice a day.
Massive celebrations were held after Samdariya completed the fast, with hundreds of community members attending the event and taking selfies with her. –