At least 11 people were killed and 72 others hospitalised on Friday after they consumed ‘prasad’ at a temple at Sulavadi village in Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka , police said.
According to Karnataka Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), the death toll had increased to 11 from nine people.
Karnataka state government announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the next of the kin of the deceased. The medical treatment of those hospitalised will be taken care of by the state government.
A district official claimed that some toxic substance may have got mixed with the religious offering being served at the Kichu Maranda temple in Sulivadi village, resulting in the tragedy. “We have collected samples and sent them to a laboratory for analysis,” he said.
The ailing have been hospitalised in hospitals across Chamarajnagar and Mysuru districts, and many of them are on ventilator support.
According to a witness, devotees decided to eat the rice-based offering although it was smelling of kerosene. “Soon afterwards, they complained of stomachache and began vomiting,” he added.