KALABURAGI: Residents of Sakru Naik thanda, about 50 km from here, are in the grip of fear after three women died mysteriously over a period of seven days.
While Genabai died on December 31, Lakshmibai died on January 2 and Menuka breathed her last on the wee hours of Monday.
Menuka and two others of the thanda, which has a population of about 300 people, were admitted to the Kalaburagi district government hospital on Sunday evening.
District Surgeon Dr Nalini Namoshi said all three showed symptoms of malaria and were asked to get admitted.
But they left the hospital against medical advice around midnight, she said.
Sources said Menuka died after she left the hospital, but Shivaram, Menuka’s father, said that his daughter died in the hospital itself.
He did not grant permission to conduct an autopsy, and took his daughter’s body back to the thanda.
As per the request of Chincholi MLA Dr Umesh Jadhav, who is a practicing doctor, a team of doctors and paramedical staff was dispatched to the thanda.
Dymla Naik, a resident of the thanda, told this correspondent that a few people were of the opinion that black magic was done on the village and that is why three people died mysteriously and many more were still suffering from various diseases. Many locals frequently visited magic healers, Naik said.
He said the other two patients, who had left the hospital along with Menuka, had also visited a magic healer before coming back to the thanda.
Dr Umesh Jadhav, who was part of the team that visited Kalaburagi, said he has started examining the other residents of the thanda.
He advised them not to visit magic healers as it could further deteriorate their health, and asked them to cooperate with the government doctors and give their blood samples to conduct the necessary tests.
Zakir Ansari, district health officer of Kalaburagi, who also visited the thanda on Monday said the medical team had collected blood samples of 18 people. Of these two had tested positive for malaria, and one of them had died in the wee hours of Monday.
The blood samples of 40 others were collected on Monday, Ansari said.
The team is planning to camp in the thanda for a few days and talk to the locals about the need for proper medical treatment.