Karnataka Temple Tragedy: Three Women Held for Serving Prasadam

28-year-old Kavitha and 59-year-old Saraswathamma succumbed to death after consuming the prasadam.

2 min read
Women mourn the death of relatives in a case of suspected food poisoning at Bidarahalli, near Sulawadi village in Karnataka, Saturday, 15 December 2018. Image used for representational purposes only.

Four days after the a temple prasadam tragedy struck Karnataka, police in Chikkaballapura have arrested three women in connection with the incident. Two persons had died and 11 others were admitted to hospital after consuming prasadam in the Ganga Bhavani Devi temple in Chintamani Town.

According to the police, Lakshmi, Amaravathi and Gangamma are the three accused who have been arrested.

“We had suspected that the ‘kesari bhat’ which was served as prasadam was made with “expired” ingredients. We had ruled out the use of poison or pesticide as in the case of the Chamarajanagar incident,” the police said.

The three women have been charged under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) under the Indian Penal Code and have been remanded to judicial custody.


28-year-old Kavitha and 59-year-old Saraswathamma succumbed to death after consuming the prasadam and 11 others were hospitalised on 26 January.

Police said that they have ruled out the involvement of the temple management in the incident as the prasadam had not been prepared at the temple. “The women had brought some prasadam and were distributing it of their own volition,” the police added.

Kavitha died while receiving treatment at a state-run hospital in the district, said Chikkaballapura Deputy Commissioner P Anirudh Sravan. Kavitha was first taken to SNR hospital and then later shifted to RL Jalappa hospital, where she died.

It has been reported that four other members of her family, including her husband Gangadhar (35) and their two daughters were also admitted to the hospital.

The victims were rushed to the hospital when they began vomiting and a few of them became unconscious. Sources in the district administration say that the prasadam was not examined by health department officials before it was distributed.

"We have been asked to conduct quality control tests on temple prasadams. In this incident, we were not informed about the prasadam distribution and hence it was not possible to test the prasadam," the official added.

(Published in an arrangement with The News Minute.)

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