At least 60 people, half of them women and children, fell ill after eating sweets at a function in Indore, police said on Thursday.
The incident occurred late Wednesday when a large number of people had gathered for a religious ritual following the death of a person.
Many of the victims started vomiting as soon as they ate the sweets (Khopra Pak). They were rushed to various hospitals across the city. Eyewitnesses claim that the number of victims could be higher as many were discharged after first aid.
"Only those who tasted the Khopra Pak fell ill," said one of those present.
Imran, one of the organisers of the ritual, said the order for supplying 35 kg of Khopra Pak had been given to a cook in Indore's Bombay Bazaar.
"The distribution of sweets was stopped after people started vomiting and the victims were rushed to various hospitals," he said.
While several victims were treated at private hospitals in Bangadda area, where the incident occurred, more serious cases were referred to MY Hospital.
MY Hospital Superintendent Salil Bhargav told IANS that since the patients did not come in a group, the exact numbers were yet to be ascertained.
Police have registered a case.