The parents of 13-year-old Jain girl Aradhana, who died after fasting for 68 consecutive days as per Jain traditions to bring ‘good luck’ to the family in Hyderabad, have been arrested after an FIR was lodged against them on Sunday.
The FIR was lodged against her parents Laxmi Chand and Manshi, following a complaint by Balala Hakkula Sangham president Achuta Rao, who Saturday alleged that the parents forced her to undergo the fast to bring the family luck, as her father suffered losses in his jewelry business, Indian Express has reported.
“Her parents Laxmi Chand and Manshi and other community members forced the girl to undergo a fasting because their jewelry business was not going well. Now they are saying their jewelry business is good because of her fast,” Rao told Indian Express.
However, the family claimed that Aradhana showed an interest in becoming a nun and was not forced to take on the fasting. Sources close to the family said Aradhana had earlier undertaken a similar fast for 41 days and survived.
According to reports, she had ended her fast a day before her death on October 2nd.
The family had said Aradhana, a class 8 student, was admitted to the hospital two days after completing her fast where she died of cardiac arrest. But a hospital certificate, accessed by NDTV, claims that the girl was brought dead.
She was being hailed as ‘Bal Tapasvi’ in the local press. Her death sparked an outrage in Hyderabad and across the country. At least 600 people attended Aradhana’s funeral.
According to news reports, newspaper advertisements issued after the girl completed the nearly 10-week-long fast show Telangana minister from Secunderabad area, Padma Rao Goud, as the chief guest at grand event for ‘Paarana’- the completion of fast. Zaheerabad lawmaker BB Patil was also seen in the photos of the event.
According to Jain religious leaders, the 68-day fast Santhara is usually meant for elderly people, who have lived their life and want renunciation.