One more woman dies after eating temple food in Karnataka

Bengaluru: One more woman devotee died after consuming suspected poisoned temple food at Chintamani town in Karnataka’s Chikkaballapur district, police said on Sunday.

“The victim, Saraswathamma, 56, died at a state-run hospital at Kolar after she was admitted on Saturday night for consuming the suspected temple prasad or food offering made to the presiding deity,” Chikkaballapur Deputy Superintendent of Police B.S. Srinvas told IANS on phone.

Saraswathamma is the second victim of the foul temple food which claimed the life of 28-year-old Kavita on Saturday after she ate the same food (a sweet dish) made as an offering to the goddess.

“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,” said Srinivas.

Meanwhile, the town police registered an FIR against three persons, including two women who were involved in making the food and distributing it as ‘prasad’ in the temple premises under Sections 304 and 313 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

“We have seized a part of the food distributed to devotees and sent it to 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.

The temple is dedicated to Hindu goddess Gangamma and is visited by hundreds of devotes daily from the town and adjoining areas.

“We have not arrested anyone so far as the investigation is underway and the forensic report is to be received from Bengaluru,” Srinvas added.

In December 2018, 16 devotees died while 60 others feel ill after consuming suspected food served in the Maramma temple at Sulvadi village in Chamarajanagar district, about 180km southwest of Bengaluru.