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Two Held for Prasad Poisoning at Karnataka Temple That Killed 12, Dispute Between 2 Groups Blamed

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.

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Updated:December 15, 2018, 10:09 AM IST
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Two Held for Prasad Poisoning at Karnataka Temple That Killed 12, Dispute Between 2 Groups Blamed
Scenes from the hospital in the Chamrajnagar district of Karnataka.
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Bengaluru: Two people were on Saturday arrested for allegedly poisoning the prasad served at a temple at Sulavadi village in Chamarajnagar district of Karnataka on Friday, causing the deaths of at least 12 people, including two children.

District in-charge minister Puttaranga Shetty, confirming the arrests, said a dispute between two groups may be the reason for the poisoning. "Whoever may be the culprit, action will be taken against them. Police are investigating the case and have already arrested two people. There was some dispute between 2 groups. I think something has happened," he told news agency ANI.

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.

Shetty added that 47 patients are being shifted to Care Hospital, 17 are in JSS Hospital and others are admitted in different Mysuru hospitals. "Around 91 patients have been shifted from Chamarajnagar to Mysuru," he added.

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

Expressing grief over the incident, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has announced a relief of Rs five lakh to the next to the kin of the deceased. Kumaraswamy flew to Chamarajnagar by special plane from Belagavi.

He said he has directed the authorities to make all arrangements for those affected and that government would bear the medical expenses. "In view of the shortage of ambulances in Chamarajanagar district, 32 ambulances have been rushed from Mysuru," the chief minister said.

According to police, the foundation laying ceremony of Maramma temple was organised Friday morning and prasad was distributed after the function. Most of those who attended the event followed the 'Om Shakti' tradition.

After consuming the prasad, people started vomiting and began writhing with stomach pain, police said. Commotion prevailed as people hurried to nearby hospitals for treatment.

Police, as also district authorities, rushed to the spot to provide medical aid. The affected people said they got the smell of kerosene oil in the prasad, but ignored it.

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