TIME India

Indian Police Charge Parents of Girl Who Died Following a 10-Week Religious Fast

The parents have been indicted on a count of culpable homicide

The parents of a 13-year-old Indian girl who died after a 10-week religious fast have been charged in relation to her death.

“The parents — Laxmi Chand and Manshi Samdariya — have been booked under culpable homicide and the Juvenile Justice Act,” said a police spokesperson quoted by the BBC.

The girl was undertaking the fast in order to “bring good luck to her family,” according to the Times of India.

“Her father’s guru advised the family that if she fasted for 68 days, his business would be profitable,” children’s-rights activist Achyut Rao alleged to the BBC’s Hindi service.

Aradhana Samdariya was the daughter of “wealthy jewelers” based in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad. The family are adherents of the country’s minority Jain religion.

The parents are denying that they forced their child to fast, saying she came to them of her own volition and requested permission.

“We asked her to stop after 51 days but she would not give up. Her fast was voluntary. No one forced her,” said her father Manshi.

“The entire nation should be ashamed that such a practice still exists,” Rao said.

While many religions practice fasting, the act of prolonged fasting — even to death — is an accepted part of the Jain religion.

Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team