Kheda: At least five people were killed in Gujarat’s Kheda district, while two others are battling for their lives, after consuming a toxic ayurvedic syrup.
The syrup ‘Kalmeghasav – Asava Arishta’, reportedly contained lethal methyl alcohol and was sold over the counter in Bilodara village near Nadiad town.
Medical examinations have ruled out any (ethyl) alcohol consumption in the deceased.
“The presence of methyl alcohol in a blood sample from one of the villagers has been confirmed,” an offcial said.
Police have detained three individuals, including the store owner, for intensive questioning while the authorities are awaiting recommendations from the Food and Drug Control Administration.
“Our initial findings indicate that methyl alcohol, a highly toxic substance, was mistakenly used in place of ethyl alcohol in the syrup,” Gujarat Minister and government spokesperson, Rishikesh Patel said, noting methyl alcohol consumption, which can lead to severe health complications, including blindness and death.
Director General of Police, Vikas Sahay said that an inquiry into two other deaths is ongoing to ascertain their connection to the syrup consumption.
As per officials, efforts were made to track down all 55 customers who purchased the syrup from the implicated store, while the store owner was grilled and all possible angles to the tragic incident were being explored, including alternative causes of death.
Patel, the production of such beverages is strictly regulated under the Cosmetics Act, and no current permissions exist for manufacturing within Gujarat. This suggests the syrup might have been sourced from outside the state.