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Karnataka: Death toll rises to 13 in temple food-poisoning incident; case registered against 7

State Health Department Joint Director Suresh Shastry said two deaths were reported at Apollo Hospital.

Karnataka: Death toll rises to 13 in temple food-poisoning incident; case registered against 7

The death toll in the food-poisoning incident at a temple in Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka rose to 13 with two more deaths on Sunday.

A case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder has been registered against seven people from the temple management under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code, news agency PTI said quoting officials. Further investigations are on, the police said.

State Health Department Joint Director Suresh Shastry said two deaths were reported at Apollo Hospital. The deceased have been identified as Mageshwari, 36, and Salamma, 35, taking the toll to 13, the official said, adding that one was critical.

The official said four patients were on ventilator at another hospital, where two of them were critical and one might need assisted ventilation.

The tragedy occurred on Friday morning at Sulavadi village where a special pooja was conducted at the Maramma Devi temple for groundbreaking ceremony.

Later, 'prasad' was distributed and those who consumed it started complaining of stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhoea-like symptoms. They were rushed to hospitals in Bengaluru, Mysuru, as well as neighbouring towns. It has also come to light that a large number of crows and some other birds, approximately 80, which consumed the poisonous prasad, died.

At least 100 people are still hospitalised, sources in the Health Department said.

Police are probing suspected foul play in the incident and the villagers have urged the government to take over the temple management as stories are doing rounds that factional feud within the temple management led to the prasad's poisoning. It has also emerged that the CCTV cameras installed in the temple were defunct. Two people have been detained.