Over 500 fall ill in Delhi after consuming food prepared with buckwheat flour

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New Delhi, Apr 14 (PTI) Over 500 people have fallen sick in different parts of east Delhi after eating food prepared with buckwheat (kuttu) flour, officials said on Wednesday.

It prima facie appears to be a case of food adulteration or sale of spoiled flour, they said.

A case has been registered against the owner of a general store in Kalyanpuri area in connection with the incident, Deputy Commissioner of Police (east) Deepak Yadav said.

Around 526 people were reportedly admitted to hospitals. They complained of uneasiness, stomach ache and vomiting after they ate food prepared using 'kuttu' flour to break their 'Navratri' fast on Tuesday, a senior East Delhi district official said.

'We visited the area and Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital, where many such people were admitted. All of them except four-five people have been discharged,' he said.

Reports of people falling ill were received from Kalyanpuri, Trilokpuri and other areas, another official said.

'Around 540 people came to our hospital since last midnight, complaining mainly of stomach ache and vomiting. Most of them had light to moderate ailment, so were sent home after giving medical aid,' a senior official of the LBS Hospital said.

A few were put on intravenous drip, but none needed admission, he said.

'Hundreds of people had started coming to the hospital since midnight only, about 400 by morning and then the number swelled to over 500 by afternoon,' he added.

A case under sections 273 (sale of noxious food or drink), 284 (negligent conduct with respect to poisonous substance) and 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered at Kalyanpuri police station against the proprietor of Bunty General Store, DCP Yadav said.

Bunty (31), a resident of Trilokpuri and proprietor of the store, has been arrested, the DCP said.

In a similar incident, six members of a family from ward number 2 of Mehrauli were hospitalised in the early hours of Wednesday after consuming buckwheat flour, the police said.

Information was received that the family had been admitted to Fortis Hospital, they said.

During inquiry, it was found that one Raghuvinder Kumar had purchased buckwheat flour from a shop named Raghubir Son and Sons, Mehrauli, on Tuesday. He and his family consumed it around 10 pm, a senior police officer said.

Later, they felt uneasy and started vomiting. They went to Fortis Hospital around 3 am and were discharged in the morning. The family is back home now, the police said.

A case has been registered against the owner of Raghubir Son and Sons, they said.

'The case under sections 273, 284 and 337 of the IPC has been registered at Mehrauli police station on the basis of a complaint received from Raghuvinder Kumar. Further investigation continues,' Deputy Commissioner of Police (south) Atul Kumar Thakur said.

No such complaint was received from any other customer who bought the flour from Raghubir Son and Sons. The food and adulteration department is also looking into the matter, he said. PTI VIT NIT AMP KND IJT