| Children being treated at a Dhubri hospital on Thursday. Telegraph picture |
Dhubri, July 5: Over 200 people of Dakhla village in Kamrup district fell ill yesterday after consuming prasad distributed at the community Bheldia Puja.
Most of those taken ill were women and children who complained of diarrhoea, nausea and body aches.
“Normal prasad was distributed by the community puja organisers. Chola (whole gram) is suspected to have created the aliments,” Pranjal Kalita of Bijoynagar said.
The patients have been admitted to Mirza’s 30-bed hospital, Upar Ali public health centre and Rampur public health centre. A Mirza hospital source said two children whose condition had deteriorated have been shifted to Gauhati Medical College and Hospital in Guwahati today.
A doctor said the illness was caused by food poisoning.
“Samples of the prasad have been collected by the state health department and sent to Guwahati for examination. After getting the reports it can be told as to what caused the illness,” the doctor said.
Social activists Dipak Sarma said NSUI president Pranab Kalita had visited the ailing villagers till now. He demanded an inquiry into the incident and insisted that the shop from where the whole gram had been bought be closed down.
Palasbari legislator Jatin Mali also visited the hospital and the PHC.
Kamrup deputy commissioner (rural) S.K. Roy said altogether 70 patients were undergoing treatment in the hospital and PHCs. The food poisoning was caused by the chola in the prasad. “We have seized the entire whole gram stock of the grocery in Bijoynagar from where the villagers bought the grain.”