Jain girl’s death after fast: No murder charges against parents

Hyderabad, Oct 25: Hyderabad police, probing the case of the death of a 13-year-old girl who died after a 68-day fast, on Sunday said the incident did not attract murder charge as there was no “intention” or “wilful act” on the part of her parents or the community members.

Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Lokayukta had called for a report from police regarding the death of the girl following a complaint filed by the child rights NGO Balala Hakkula Sangham.

NGO president Anuradha Rao had alleged that the girl’s parents and family members made her undertake the fast for 68 days which led to her death on October 3.

On October 9, police registered a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against the parents and other relatives of the girl, a class 8 student.

But the NGO had sought the case filed under section 302 of IPC (murder) against the accused.

In a report to Lokayukta, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North Zone) said, “…neither there is an intention nor wilful act on part of the parents of the child and community members. The act of the child is nothing but a ritual in their community”.

Considering these facts, police registered a case under IPC section 304 (culpable homicide) and under Juvenile Justice Act, but it does not attract murder charge, the report said.

The probe was on, therefore the petition by NGO may be dismissed, the police said, adding that no arrests had been made yet.

The death of the girl due to the fast had caused outrage and triggered a debate across the country about such rituals.

As per the police’s preliminary probe, her fast of 68 days ended on October 1, and she was on liquid diet thereafter. On October 3, she suddenly fell ill, and was declared ‘brought dead’ at the hospital.