In a shocking incident, a seven-year-old girl in Karnataka died as she allegedly set herself ablaze after watching a TV serial. Prarthana was reportedly inspired by a fire-dance scene which she saw in a Kannada TV show – Nandindi. The police said that the incident took place on November 11 at Harihara town in Davanagere district. The minor was a class 2 student at St Mary’s Convent school. Police said that the minor succumbed to burn injuries on November 12. The girl had reportedly thrown papers around her and set them on fire without realising that the fire would engulf her too.
The victim’s mother said that, “Prarthana used to regularly watch two serials, including a horror-thriller. In one of the serials, the lead character is seen dancing on fire.” She added, “We had advised her and warned her several times not to sit in front of the television. But there are times when she dodged us and went to our relatives house to watch teleserials. We have lost our daughter but we want other parents to be cautious”. She was speaking to the Times of India.
“It is sad that such an incident has happened. We usually put disclaimers in each episode of tele-serials but these have no effect. The makers of these serials do not have any bad intention, some elements are introduced to make the plot more engaging and gripping. In future, we should take steps to ensure that such negative impression is not created in the minds of the kids, ” said Ravi Kiran, the former president of Karnataka Television Association.
Earlier, a woman had burnt her two minor children to death and then set herself ablaze following a quarrel with her husband in Tamil Nadu. Maheswari killed her son Viswa (8) and Dhana Sree (4) by setting themselves ablaze at their house before committing suicide in the same manner.
In another incident which took place on 29th August 2017, a 15-year-old girl had allegedly committed suicide by setting herself ablaze in Muzaffarnagar’s Shahpur area when her lover refused to elope with her. The minor’s 20-year-old boyfriend has been booked for abetment of suicide.