The toll in a food poisoning incident at a temple in Karnataka’s Chamarajanagar district rose to 13 after two more deaths on Sunday, PTI reported. Health Department Joint Director Suresh Shastry said the deaths were reported at Apollo Hospital in Bengaluru.
More than 90 people reportedly fell ill on Friday after eating the offerings served at the Sulavadi Kichchugutti Maramma temple in Hanur taluka. An unidentified official earlier said that the offerings – rice that purportedly got mixed with some toxic substance – was distributed during a foundation stone laying ceremony. The devotees began to show symptoms like vomiting and diarrhoea and were taken to hospital. A sample of the offerings was sent for laboratory tests.
Those who died on Sunday were identified as Mageshwari, 36, and Salamma, 35. A person called Sharat is in a critical condition, Shastry added. Four people are on ventilator life support at Suyogh Hospital, he said.
The Karnataka Police have arrested two persons so far in connection with the incident. The residents of Sulavadi village, where the incident took place, have demanded that the police investigate possible foul play. They have asked the government to take over the temple management, alleging that a factional feud there led to food poisoning. The police have also discovered that the CCTV cameras installed at the temple were dysfunctional.