Kottayam: Three inmates at a private rehabilitation centre near here have died in a week sparking protests following which the Kerala government has ordered an inquiry.
Health minister K K Shailaja on Saturday sought a report from health officials in Kottayam district after locals alleged foul play.
District Collector P K Sudheer Babu ordered a magisterial probe into the deaths at the Puthujeevan Trust Rehabilitation Centre in Payippad Panchayat following protests by local residents and politicians.
Additional district magistrate Anil Oommen will probe the case, he said.
Locals alleged that three inmates of the centre run by the trust, which is headed by a retired policeman, have died in a week's time.
The local people also alleged that the inmates were subjected to torture at the facility.
According to the centre, it is offering services for the mentally challenged, destitutes and abandoned elderly people for the past over three decades. Local people demanded a thorough probe into the cause of the deaths.
According to officials, six other inmates have been admitted to various hospitals in Thiruvalla. After an initial investigation, the district medical officer said the deaths were not due to any epidemic.
As per the Health minister's directive, a panel of doctors have been constituted to study the cause of the death of the three people, including a woman, he said.