Temple tragedy,11 Dead, 82 Hospitalised After Eating Prasad in Karnataka .
As many as 11 people died and 82 were hospitalised after consuming religious food offering prasad at a temple in Karnataka’s Chamarajnagar district today, police said.
A district official claimed that some toxic substance may have got mixed with the religious offering being served at the Kichu Maranda temple in Sulivadi village, resulting in the tragedy.We have collected samples and sent them to a laboratory for analysis,” he said.
The ailing have been hospitalised in hospitals across Chamarajnagar and Mysuru districts, and many of them are on ventilator support.
According to a witness, devotees decided to eat the rice-based offering although it was smelling of kerosene.Soon afterwards, they complained of stomachache and began vomiting,he added.
The deceased belonged to Bidarahalli, Melathur and Doddani in Maratahalli hobli of Kollegal taluk.
There are also reports that a few crows were found dead after consuming the leftover prasadam from the devotees’ plates.
Ex gratia announced:
The government has announced compensation of Rs.5 lakh to the family of the deceased. Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy rushed immediately to the KR Hospital from Chennai as he been to Chennai to see and enquire health condition of Siddaganga Seer in Chennai and he said it is a inhuman act done by miscreants and a probe was ordered and two people have been taken into custody. The hospital expenses would be borne by the government He even expressed shock over the incident, and directed the authorities to ensure that the affected people receive proper medical treatment. I came to know about this while I was returning from Belagavi. Spoke to district authorities. At first I did not realise how serious it was.Our MLA, Puttaraju, went to the spot. There are reports that the food was deliberately poisoned. It is being tested. Action will be taken against whoever is behind this inhuman act,” Mr Kumaraswamy said.He further added that the concerned program officer is monitoring calls at 108 call centre and coordinating services of ambulances. The Karnataka CM also added that commissioner has instructed ADC Mysore to provide services of private ALP ambulances. Two senior officers are on way from state headquarters to coordinate and supervise activities he added.
Police said the religious offering was distributed after the temple’s foundation-laying ceremony.Doctors think the toxin could be pesticide,” said an officer, adding that an investigation will confirm how the toxic substance entered the food.
The district authorities confirmed 10 deaths and feared the toll could increase as some of the patients were critical. Chamarajanagar SP Dharmendra Kumar Meena and IGP Sharath Chandra said 68 people had been hospitalised in Mysuru and Chamarajanagar districts.They were given a rice preparation as ‘prasadam’ around noon, and a few of them immediately started throwing up. Soon, almost all those who had eaten it were taken ill he added.
IGP,Southern Range,Sharath Chandra confirmed that two suspects has been taken into custody identified as Gowdruchinnatti,a member of the temple’s administration and manager Maadesh have been taken into custody for questioning.There was a dispute between people in the village regarding the installation of the Gopura.The suspicion is that they could have mixed the poison due to this It may be pesticide.The doctors at the hospital said that it could be a possibility.We are trying to find out who did this and why.The samples have been sent to FSL lab he added.
The cops have stepped up security as thousands of friends and relatives of the victims have thronged the hospital. The authorities have sent the food samples to forensic laboratory and are awaiting reports. With the government directed to shift the patients to Hospitals in Mysuru, the authorities have shifted them to private hospital in Mysuru.