Mystery shrouds beggars' death

Mystery shrouds beggars' death

Although the Social Welfare Department claimed that all of them died due to natural causes, the shocking deaths have raised questions about the functioning of the government-run organisation. Social Welfare Department minister D Sudhakar, who visited the colony, declared that an inquiry would be initiated to go into the circumstances that led to the deaths.

Colony residents said stale and sub-standard food served there caused the deaths. For them, the bodies of  30-year-old Jagadish, Raja Velu (65), Muniyappa (70), Giridhar (50), Rajendra (70), Mooga (60), Gopi (55), Balakrishna (65), Jayamma (65), Moogi (45), Ningamma (65) and Ramakrishna (65) were telling testimonies to the apathy. Stocks of several drugs and solutions past their expired dates were found in the medicine room.
The doctor in-charge at the colony, G Harimurthy, denied food poisoning as the cause for the deaths. “The first death was reported around 8.30 pm soon after dinner. Eight of them died on Tuesday night and rest on Wednesday. Some of them died due to prolonged illness, diarrhoea, anorexia and epilepsy,” he told Deccan Herald.

According to Mehboob from Doddaballapur, who is now under treatment, it was the “kesari bath” that was served for dinner on Tuesday that led to the deaths. “How will 12 people living under one roof die within 24 hours? They served us contaminated kesari bath, which led to food poisoning. They simply bring us here and forget their responsibility. They don’t take care of us. We have been staying in horrible conditions,” he said. “Manjunath Prasad, Commissioner, Social Welfare Department, will inquire into the matter and submit a report within three days.

There is no dearth of     funds to run the colony smoothly. The authorities     here have been told to be     cautious to avoid such     tragedy in the future,” Sudhakar said.
At Beggars’Colony, 2,533 wretched men and women live in the twilight zone where life and death have lost all meaning.

However, Bangalore City Police Commissioner Shankar Bidari, who visited the spot and held discussions with the authorities there, said the police have nothing to do with the incident.

“Several reasons have been ascertained as the cause of death. These are all natural deaths. In such cases there is no need to conduct a post- mortem,” Bidari said.

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