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11 dead, dozens hospitalised after consuming ‘prasad’; state government announces ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh

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New Delhi: At least 11 people were killed and 72 others hospitalised on Friday after they consumed ‘prasad’ at a temple at Sulavadi village in Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka.

According to Karnataka Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), the death toll had increased to 11 from nine people.

Karnataka state government announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the next of the kin of the deceased. The medical treatment of those hospitalised will be taken care of by the state government.

 

The condition of eight people being treated at a hospital in Mysuru was critical, said health department officials. “One child died at the government hospital at Ramapura, two each at GH hospitals at Kamageri and Kolegal, three at the KP Hospital and one at KRH Hospital,” said Suresh Shastry, Joint Director, Directorate of Health and Family Welfare Services.

Kumaraswamy flew to Chamarajnagar by special plane from Belagavi. He said he has directed the authorities to make all arrangements for those affected and that government would bear the medical expenses.

“In view of the shortage of ambulances in Chamarajanagar district, 32 ambulances have been rushed from Mysuru,” the chief minister said.

Two people from the temple management have been detained for questioning, said police sources.

District Health Officer Prasad said it was suspected that poison might have got mixed with the prasad, resulting in the tragic incident. “We have collected the food samples and sent it to a laboratory for investigation,” he told reporters.

According to police, the foundation laying ceremony of Maramma temple was organised Friday morning and ‘prasad’ was distributed after the function. Most of those who attended the event followed the ‘Om Shakti’ tradition.

After consuming the prasad, people started vomiting and began writing with stomach pain, police said. Commotion prevailed as people hurried to nearby hospitals for treatment. Police, as also district authorities, rushed to the spot to provide medical aid. The affected people said they got the smell of kerosene oil in the prasad, but ignored it.


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National

Ayodhya on high alert following intelligence inputs

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Ayodhya: Amid VIP movements, Ayodhya has been put on high alert soon after intelligence inputs indicated a possible terror attack in the city.

“We have put more force into action. The force has been alerted. Also, intelligence officials in the civil dress have come here. They are checking all hotels, restaurants and railway stations. The police force is vigilant and keeping a track of all the movements,” Anil Kumar Sisodia, Superintendent of Police City, told ANI.

This comes ahead of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s visit to Ayodhya on Sunday along with his party MPs.

 

According to reports, the security has also been heightened keeping in mind the hearing on 2005 Ram Janmabhoomi attack on June 18.

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Seven died while cleaning hotel sewer in Vadodara

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Vadodara: Seven persons, including four sanitation workers, died due to asphyxiation on Saturday while cleaning sewer of a hotel in Gujarat’s Vadodara district, officials said.

The incident happened at a hotel in Fartikui village in Dabhoi tehsil, about 30 km from Vadodara city. Three employees of the hotel were also among those killed.

“When one sanitation worker failed to come out of the manhole, others went inside. All of them died due to asphyxiation,” district collector Kiran Zaveri told PTI.

 
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Manmohan retires from Rajya Sabha

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New Delhi: For the first time in 28 years, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s name ceased to be part of the list of members of the Rajya Sabha on its Web site, and was included in the list of former members of Parliament.

With the Congress lacking the numbers in the Assam legislature to ensure his re-election, 86-year-old Dr Singh retired from the Rajya Sabha.

Dr Singh, then finance minister in the P V Narasimha Rao government, had debuted in the House on October 1, 1991, from Assam and represented the state for five consecutive terms. He was the leader of the House during his 10 years as PM, and leader of the Opposition from 1998 to 2004.The former PM would now need to wait for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, an ally of the Congress, to send him to the Rajya Sabha next month or until the next biennial elections in the Upper House in April 2020 when 54 MPs retire.

 

Five Rajya Sabha members from Tamil Nadu retire in July. The DMK, along with its allies, has the strength in the state legislature to get at least three elected to the Rajya Sabha. It has promised one seat to MDMK chief Vaiko.

However, sources said the DMK and the Congress have not had any discussions on the issue.

The Congress could also hope to send Dr Singh to the Upper House from Gujarat if elections to fill the two vacancies from the state take place together.

The vacancies are on account of two Bharatiya Janata Party Rajya Sabha members from Gujarat, Amit Anilchandra Shah and Smriti Zubin Irani, being elected to the Lok Sabha. Shah has debuted in the Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar while Irani is the Lok Sabha member from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.

The Congress’s numbers in the Gujarat assembly would ensure the party wins one of the two seats, the other going to the BJP, if elections to the two seats are held jointly.

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