On November 11, Prarthana M was at the family's home in Harihara, nearly 300 km from Bengaluru, with her six-year-old sister. Her parents were out.
"She had taken sheets from a note book and set them on fire and the saree she had draped to dance in, caught fire. Our younger daughter was witness to all this," the girl's mother, Chaitra, who has no second name, told NDTV.
The girl was rushed to the hospital with severe burn injuries. She died the next day.
The child had started following the serial very intensely over the last week, her mother said.
"We are yet to ascertain the reason. The parents have now claimed that she was trying to imitate a sequence from TV serial. We will investigate that as well. It is very unfortunate," a senior police officer of Davangere, Bhimashankar Guled, told NDTV.
Kannada TV serials with content related to ghosts, supernatural powers and black magic have increased in the recent past and now rationalists are seeking government intervention.
"Young children have a very impressionable mind and you need to be careful about what is shown on TV," said rationalist Vishwanatha Swami. But the authorities of television channels, he said were not behaving responsibly. "They only worry about revenue. The newly passed anti-superstition bill doesn't address these issues. The state needs to do more," he said.