Shri Dholaka Teerth

Devotees of Jain religion ask Indian judges for right to fast to death2


Followers of an ancient Indian religion have petitioned the country’s Supreme Court for the right to starve to death as a religious freedom.

Leaders of the Jain religion have taken their campaign to the highest judicial body after the Rajasthan state high court declared that the centuries-old ritual of santhara was illegal as it amounted to assisted suicide.

"Santhara is an integral part of the Jain religion and the court can't interfere with its customs," said the petition asking the Supreme Court to legalise the practice.

Thousands of Jains, who believe in a path of non-violence towards all living creatures, earlier attended a protest in Jaipur carrying banners that proclaimed: "Suicide is crime. Santhara is religion."