May 7, 2021 5:06:56 am
NINE PEOPLE have died over the past three days after consuming a homeopathy syrup as an alcohol substitute in a village in Chhattisgarh’s Bilaspur district. Seven others who had also consumed the syrup were in a critical condition, according to district authorities.
The Bilaspur district administration has set up a medical camp in Kormi village, 10 km from the district headquarters, to ascertain if more people had consumed the medicine and were questioning the doctor who sold the medicine to the villagers.
While four people died in their homes Tuesday night, four others died on Wednesday and one person died on Thursday, police said.
Family members did not report the first two deaths to the police, suspecting that they died of Covid. The police reached the village after more people, who had consumed the same syrup mixed with water, started falling ill and dying.
“Prima facie, it appears that the deceased had consumed Drosera-30, a homeopathy syrup with about 91 per cent alcohol content, in excess as a substitute for liquor,” Bilaspur SP Prashant Agrawal said. “The villagers would take syrups from a homeopathic practitioner who sold a 450 ml bottle of Drosera-30 to some people at Rs 400. We have registered a case and are questioning the doctor.”
As per preliminary investigation, Kamlesh Dhuri (35), Akshya Dhuri (25), Rajesh Dhuri (33), Dipak Dhuri (32) and Samru Dhuri (35) had consumed the medicine on Tuesday night, following which their condition deteriorated and four of them died by late night. On Wednesday, Dipak Dhuri also died after complaining of loss of eyesight and nausea.
On being alerted, a police team reached the village Wednesday evening, and shifted other villagers who had consumed the syrup and were in a critical condition to different hospitals in Bilaspur. Of them, Khemchand Dhuri (41), Ramdayal Dhuri (40) and Kailash Dhuri (50) died during treatment on Wednesday night. On Thursday, Gowardhan Dhuri (22) died in hospital.
Seven others were undergoing treatment, a senior police official said. “We have recorded their statements, and all of them confessed of drinking more than 50 ml of the syrup mixed in water. We are investigating if the doctor told them they could consume the syrup as replacement for alcohol,” he said.
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