Often times, we have witnessed extreme fasting and praying events in Nigerian churches, but this disheartening story of Aradhana Samdariya takes the cake.
According to Tribune, the 13-year-old collapsed and fell into a coma two days after she completed a 68-day fast. She later died of cardiac arrest in their southern Hyderabad city in India.
Newsmen gathered that Aradhana’s family, who practice the religion called Jainism, coerced her into partaking in the religious event called Chaturmas all for their commercial success. Now her death has been ruled as homicide.
“As of now nothing is clear,” the police officer in charge of the case told the press. “The body was cremated and our investigation will rely on the doctor’s report. We will question the family before moving ahead.”
However, the deceased girl’s family claims she ‘pledged’ to observe the Chaturmas which required her drinking only boiled water. After she completed the fast, her community celebrated her, with many taking selfies with her. Upon her death on October 4, she was quickly cremated and celebrated as the ‘child saint’.
Over 600 people attended her funeral.
Following the revelation that a priest had told the family to get the child to go on the fast for prosperity in their business which was recently flopping, her grandfather denied this.
“It was about her faith. No one forced her to fast. She fasted for 34 days in 2015 and eight days in 2014,” Samdariya told AFP. “People came to show sympathy with the family after she died. There was no religion involved. She was quite devoted and we are not superstitious.”