- Aradhana, 13, died earlier this month after 68-day fast
- Parents accused of culpable homicide, Jains say that's unfair
- Fasting did not cause her death, argue Jains, also cite religious freedom
"She even went to school till the 41st day, consuming only warm water,'' said her father, Lakshmichand Samdariya, to NDTV. The police will examine school records to verify that claim.
Aradhana's dying of a cardiac arrest in the early hours of October 4, has resulted in her parents being charged with culpable homicide, though no arrests have been made.
The letter also lists children who, like Aradhana, fasted for several months during "chaturmas" (four holy months of penance). NDTV is withholding the names of the children who are part of the petition. An eight-year-old from Ahmedabad went without food for 83 days. A six-year-old fasted for 75 days.
"She'd repeat the vow (to remain hungry) every day...she did so for 68 days," said Ravinder Muniji, revered as a guru among the Jains of Hyderabad. "Of Jain children, only a mere 1-2% fast. But they are healthy before and after," he insisted.
The class eight student was dressed in ornate clothes and put on a grand chariot, along with her parents, and paraded through the lanes of her neighbourhood.