Two die, 11 hospitalised after consuming 'prasad' at Karnataka temple

The medical superintendent said the patients had been given a stomach wash and are under observation.

Published: 26th January 2019 05:30 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th January 2019 03:53 AM   |  A+A-

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Express News Service

CHINTHAMANI (CHIKKABALLAPUR): Just weeks after the Sulavadi food poisoning incident at Chamarajanagar, two women died on Saturday after consuming ‘prasadam’ served at the Sri Gangabhavani temple in Chinthamani of Chikkaballapur district. Eleven others have been hospitalised.

Police are questioning two women, Lakshmi (45), who has prepared the ‘prasadam’, and her domestic help Amaravathi who had distributed it to devotees on Friday evening.

Chikkaballapur DC Anirudh Sharavan, who visited Chinthamani, said 13 people complained of uneasiness and vomiting after consuming the prasadam. Locals and neighbours immediately shifted them to hospitals. Kavitha (28), who was initially admitted to SNR Hospital and later shifted to R L Jalappa hospital, died around 10 am on Saturday.

Late in the night, another woman, identified as Saraswathamma (59), also died. Eleven others who are under treatment are Kavitha’s husband Gangadhar (35), daughters Ganavi (7) and Charani (5), Gangadhar’s brother Raju and sister in-in-law Radha; Narayanamma (55), her son Shivakumar (30) and brother Venkataramanappa (35); Sudha and her children Chetu and Keerthana.

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According to Chikkaballapur SP Karthick Reddy, hundreds of devotees visit the temple every Friday and some bring ‘prasadam’ to distribute among the devotees. On Friday, a woman brought kesaribhath and distributed it in paper cups. The temple priest Suresh and a trustee were also questioned, he said. Though police suspect it to be a case of food poisoning, food samples have been sent to the FSL and also for culture tests.

A child, who suffered food poisoning after consuming prasadam, undergoes treatment

The 13 victims of the food poisoning incident at Sri Gangabhavani temple in Chinthamani on Saturday belong to four different families. Narasamma, the sister-in-law of deceased Kavitha (28) told The New Sunday Indian Express that the family lives in Sreeramnagar which is at a walkable distance from the temple. On Friday, Kavitha’s brother-in-law Raju went to the temple and collected two cups of kesaribhath prasadam. Raju distributed the prasadam to Kavitha, her husband Gangadhar, their children Ganavi, Charanya and to his wife Radha before consuming it himself. Later, all of them complained of uneasiness and vomitting.

Other affected families include Narayanamma, her son Shivakumar, and her brother Venkatramanappa, and also Sudha and her children Chetu and Keerthana. Saraswathamma (49), the only person from another family who consumed the prasadam, was critical and died late on Saturday.

Food samples to be tested

Food samples will be sent to a forensic science laboratory and also for culture tests to establish the cause of deaths and poisoning said Dr Lakshmaiah, Medical Superintendent of R L Jalappa Hospital. Inspector General of Police (central range) B Dayanand confirmed that the samples have been sent to labs.

Dr Lakshmaiah said Kavitha was referred from SNR Hospital at 8 am and a team of doctors attended on her, but she could not be saved. The other victim, Saraswathamma, was referred to the hospital around 2:30 pm in a critical condition, but died. Other patients are treated in the ICU.

The medical superintendent said the patients had been given a stomach wash and are under observation.
Assembly Deputy Speaker J Krishna Reddy said he has paid Rs 25,000 to the family of Kavitha and Rs 5,000 each to those undergoing treatment.

He also said he will take up the issue with the chief minister and appeal to him to grant relief to the families.


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