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'Never Heard Prasad Being Poisoned': Siddaramaiah After 12 Die Eating 'Baath' Post Rituals in Karnataka

Food samples collected from the temple have been sent to a forensic lab in Mysuru. However, District Health Officer Prasad had suspected that the prasad was poisoned.

News18.com

Updated:December 15, 2018, 11:55 PM IST
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'Never Heard Prasad Being Poisoned': Siddaramaiah After 12 Die Eating 'Baath' Post Rituals in Karnataka
A crying boy being consoled by his grandmother after his mother died of suspected food posioning at Bidarahalli, near Sulawadi village in Chamarajanagar district of Karmnataka, on Dec 15, 2018. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: The death toll climbed to 12, as two more people died on Saturday, due to food poisoning after consuming prasad at a temple in Chamarajanagar district.

Former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah and Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao visited the survivors today. Post that, in a series of tweets, Siddaramaiah called it the most inhuman act and that he has never heard of temple prasad being poisoned.

“I have never heard of temple prasada being poisoned. The incident of this magnitude with 11 people dead and 80-90 people hospitalised with some in critical condition is something unimaginable. I am shocked over the tragedy. It’s a most inhuman act,” Siddaramaiah tweeted.

Food samples collected from the temple have been sent to a forensic lab in Mysuru. However, District Health Officer Prasad had suspected that the prasad was poisoned.

Two people were on Saturday arrested for allegedly poisoning the prasad. District in-charge minister Puttaranga Shetty, confirming the arrests, said a dispute between two groups may be the reason for the poisoning.

The minister had visited a hospital, where some of those taken ill after eating the prasad were taken. Over 90 people were hospitalised after they consumed the religious food offering served at the Kichu Maranda temple, which is nearly 160km away from Bengaluru.

Many birds were also found dead, reportedly after they ate the prasad. The police are looking for five more suspects, ANI reported.

On Friday, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had announced relief of Rs five lakh to the next to the kin of the deceased.

Kumaraswamy flew to Chamarajnagar by special plane from Belagavi, where he is attending the winter session of the state legislature.

He had directed local authorities to make all arrangements for those who took ill and said the government would bear the medical expenses.

The foundation laying ceremony of Maramma temple was organised Friday morning at the village situated along the border of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

'Om Shakti' devotees from adjoining villages in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu had gathered for the event, where rice "baath" was served as prasad after the rituals.

After consuming the offering, people started to vomit and complained of stomach pain. The affected people said there was a smell of kerosene oil in the prasad, but they ignored it.

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