Over 20 students of XISS, including four girls, were rushed to hospital with symptoms of severe food poisoning on Saturday night after a farewell party on the campus.
The condition of two of them is learnt to be serious.
Doctors at Gurunanak Hospital on Station Road, where the students have been admitted to ICCU, suspect that they consumed stale or contaminated food at the bash. Food packets, containing sandwiches, vegetable chops and rasogullas, were apparently distributed from the college canteen during the programme.
According to sources, a party was thrown for graduating students of the personnel management department and about 140 people, including students, alumni and officials, attended it.
N.N. Agarwal, medical superintendent of Gurunanak Hospital, said the ill students, at least 21 of them, started trooping in one after the other from 9.30pm onwards.
“Those admitted belong to XISS. They showed symptoms of severe food poisoning like loose stool (dysentery), stomach ache and vomiting. We suspect that the butter in sandwiches or rosogullas turned bad. The patients have been kept under strict vigil and will be released once their condition improves,” said Agarwal, ruling out chances of alcohol causing the illness.
Doctor Shakti Kumar, who was on duty when the patients were brought in, said: “Two students are in a serious state as they are suffering from acute dehydration triggered by dysentery.” However, their names could not be ascertained.
A student, speaking on condition of anonymity, said four more were recommended complete bed rest at home after initial medication.
XISS administrator Sajit Lakra didn’t respond to repeated calls. Other officials were also incommunicado.
When contacted, Sanjeev Bajaj, associate professor and chief co-ordinator (placements and corporate relations) of the institute, pleaded ignorance. “I am not aware of any such incident,” he said.