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45-year-old dead, 10 ill after consuming prasad in Baramati

Those who suffered food poisoning after consuming the prasad include five women, three children and two men. These 10 people are currently undergoing treatment at a private hospital.

Police officials said Shakuntala Bhanudas Shinde (45), who died during the treatment, was a resident of Morgaon. The hospital authorities said the condition of other 10 people was stable and they were out of danger.

Superintendent of Police (Rural) Manoj Kumar Lohiya said that an elderly person from the village had visited Rameshwar temple and brought ‘lhai’ as prasad that was mixed with a honey-like liquid, which he distributed amongst villagers.

“The prasad was given to the villagers and these victims were the first ones to consume it. After some time, they started complaining about stomachache and started vomiting. Realising that symptoms were serious, they all were shifted to a private hospital in Baramati,” Lohiya said.

He said the prasad samples were sent to Pune forensic lab for further analysis. “We even came to know that the prasad was turned down by five people. We are investigating the case and further action will be taken based on the report from the forensic lab,” Lohiya said.

Health Officer Dr Mahesh Jagtap said the health department was closely monitoring the villagers and carried a health survey of the entire population to avert disaster. A large number of devotees visit Rameshwar temple and the department has instructed them not to consume prasad from the temple.

Baramati Sub Divisional Officer Vijaysingh Deshmukh said directives were issued to the staff to spread awareness about food poisoning on consumption of the prasad.

“We have asked our people to seize the prasad, if found with devotees, and get it medically examined by competent authorities,” Deshmukh said.

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