The Karnataka Police on Sunday said another devotee had died after eating religious offerings at a temple in the state’s Chikkaballapura district, taking the toll to two deaths so far, IANS reported.
“The victim, Saraswathamma, 56, died at a state-run hospital in Kolar after she was admitted on Saturday night for consuming the suspected temple ‘prasad’ or food offering made to the presiding deity,” said Chikkaballapur Deputy Superintendent of Police BS Srinivas.
The first victim was identified as 22-year-old Kavita, who ate the offering at the Gangamma Devi temple in Chintamani town on Friday.
“Nine other devotees, including two children and three women who were admitted to the same hospital for suspected food poisoning, are out of danger but under treatment,” added Srinivas.
The police also registered a first information report against three persons under various sections of the Indian Penal Code. The accused include two women who had visited the temple and distributed kesri bhat to the devotees. They have been identified as Lakshmi, who allegedly prepared the offering, and her domestic help Amaravathi, who had distributed it to devotees, The New Indian Express reported.
“We have seized a part of the food distributed to devotees and sent it to a forensic science lab in Bengaluru to ascertain if it was poisoned as about 50 people had consumed it before the incident came to light,” said Srinivas, adding that no arrests have been made so far.
RL Jalappa Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Lakshmaiah said the food samples will also be sent for culture tests to establish the cause of deaths.
Last month, at least 16 people died and 100 were hospitalised after consuming the religious offering served at the Maramma temple in Sulavadi village in the state’s Chamarajanagar district.