Three children, including a six-month-old boy, have died and more than 100 people are ill after they consumed contaminated water in Khargone district, 350 km from in Bhopal, police said on Friday.
The incident came to light Thursday when members of the Banjara-dominated community in the district started falling ill one after the other and made a beeline for the only health dispensary.
"This alarmed the health officials who in turn informed the administrative officials and started treating the patients," Chandresh Dikshit, a medical officer said.
"A temporary medical camp was set up at a Gurdwara where 14 patients were provided treatment and as many as 70 patients were given medicines and sent home. All of them were suffering from diarrhoea," he said.
"Preliminary inquiries revealed that dirty water that had accumulated near a pipe line, fitted to a well, had seeped into the drinking water pipe line. The villagers fell ill after consuming this contaminated water," said Dikshit.
"Drinking water samples are being further examined," he said.
BJP legislator Atmaram Patel has announced a compensation of Rs 5,000 for the families of each of the deceased.