A year since Jain girl died of fasting in Hyderabad, questions remain unanswered | india-news | Hindustan Times
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A year since Jain girl died of fasting in Hyderabad, questions remain unanswered

While the police closed the case citing lack of evidence against her parents, who remain mum on the issue, the Andhra Pradesh child rights association is bent on taking the case to its logical conclusion.

india Updated: Oct 02, 2017 23:44 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Aradhana Samdariya
Aradhana Samdariya

Can a child be made to fast, are the parents responsible for her death — are questions that remain unanswered a year after 13-year old Jain girl Aradhana Samdariya died after 68 days of fasting at her Secunderabad residence.

While the police closed the case citing lack of evidence against her parents, who remain mum on the issue, the Andhra Pradesh child rights association is bent on taking the case to its logical conclusion.

Aradhana, a class 8 student, died in the late hours of October 2 last year, less than three days after ending her 68-day fast under the ‘tapasya’ ritual practised by her community. She was declared “brought dead” at a private hospital and doctors said she had died of cardiac arrest, caused probably by an imbalance in salts. The incident sparked nation-wide outrage.

On a complaint from the child rights association, the Secunderabad Market police registered an FIR on October 9 last year against Aradhana’s parents under Section 304(2) of the IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), besides section 75 of the juvenile justice act.

However, after four months of investigation, the Hyderabad police dropped the case against the parents in February. A report was submitted to the court stating that the case filed by the child rights association was false, non-cognisable, mistake of fact, undetected and lacked evidence.

The case is still pending before the 10 additional chief metropolitan magistrate’s court since the police submitted the closure report.

“We challenged the police report, stating that the police had not submitted any charge sheet in the case, which was supposed to be done within 90 days of filing the FIR. The case has been getting postponed since then. The next hearing is on October 9,” child rights association president P Achyuta Rao told HT.

The family members of Aradhana, too, seem to have conveniently forgotten the tragic incident and are refusing to talk about it even on her first death anniversary.

“I am very busy right now. I can’t talk anything on the issue,” was what her father Lakshmichand Samdariya, a jewellery merchant in Pot Market in Secunderabad, had to say.

Hyderabad deputy commissioner of police (north zone), B Sumathi told HT that there was nothing to probe further into the case.

“We have submitted everything to the court along with evidences, including the report obtained from the hospital authorities on how the girl died, the second opinion given by a team of doctors from the Government Gandhi Hospital, Secunderabad, on what could have led to her death and our inquiries with various people involved in the incident. Since we could not find any evidence to prove that her parents had forced her to do tapasya, we told the court that we were dropping the case,” Sumathi said.

Achyuta Rao, however, said the association would pursue the case to get justice to the departed soul of Aradhana, stating that he was ready to move the Hyderabad high court.