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Parents of Hyderabad girl who died after 68-day fast booked

By The Assam Tribune

HYDERABAD, Oct 9 (IANS): Police on Sunday booked parents of a 13-year-old Jain girl who died here last week after a 68-day long fast.

Lakshmichand Samdhariya and his wife Manisha were booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, under Section 304 (ii) of the Indian Penal Code.

The action came a day after the shocking incident came to light and child rights activists alleged that Aradhna was forced by the family to fast.

Aradhna, a class 8 student, died on October 3, a day after she completed her 68-day fast.

Her family, which lives in Secunderabad here, said she was admitted to hospital after she took ill after completing the fast.

The girl was on fast as per Jain rituals during the holy period of 'Chaumasa' in the belief that it will bring profits to her father's jewellery business.

Police also booked Aradhna's parents under Juvenile Justice Act.

The FIR was registered at Market Police Station.

Meanwhile, the hospital where she was taken after she collapsed said she was brought dead. According to doctors at Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), she may have died of cardiac arrest and renal failure.

They said the long fast led to dehydration and affected her kidneys and other vital organs.

The girl was taking only water and that too during a specific period during the day.

The family claimed that she voluntarily took up the fast and refused to give up when advised after 50 days. It said the girl had earlier successfully completed a 34-day fast.

Activists, however, alleged that the girl was forced to undertake the fast.

Balala Hakkula Sangham, a NGO fighting for child rights, had approached police, seeking action against the family.

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