At least 500 take ill after consuming buckwheat flour
Several residents of Kalyanpuri in east Delhi had to be admitted to different hospitals after they complained of stomach aches, ostensibly after consuming buckwheat flour between Tuesday night and Wednesday evening. While no deaths wee reported, police fear the total number of people affected is around 500.
Police suspect food poisoning, and have already arrested the proprieter of a general store. Buckwheat flour is usually consumed during Navratri.
The alleged mass food poisoning came to light on Tuesday night after several residents reached Lal Bahadur Shastri hospital, complaining of stomach ache, vomiting, and diarrhoea; some even lost consciousness. A stream of patients kept reaching hospitals, officials said. “Till Wednesday evening, roughly around 500 people were reportedly affected. Most of the patients have reported that they had consumed buckwheat flour in some form or the other,” said a senior police officer.
DCP (east) Deepak Yadav said they have registered a case under IPC sections 273 (selling noxious food or drink), 284 (using poisonous substance to endanger human life) and 337 (causing hurt or endangering life negligently) at Kalyanpuri police station, and arrested Bunty Lal, the proprietor of Bunty General Store.
“Further investigation is on. Our teams are trying to find out who had sold the flour to the residents and from where it had been sourced. Source of the adulterated flour is being traced. It is also being checked if more shops in the area had sold the flour to people,” the DCP said.
In a similar case reported from south Delhi, six members of a family from Mehrauli also fell ill after consuming buckwheat in the early hours of Wednesday. Police said they were all admitted in Fortis hospital, and were discharged after treatment.
DCP (south) Atul Thakur said the family members are now stable. “We have collected samples of the flour from the shop from where they had bought it. No other customer who had bought the flour from there made a similar complaint. The sample has been sent for testing. We have registered a case under similar sections,” Thakur said.