Condition of 11 others remains serious
Two persons who had consumed contaminated toddy at Manikyapuram in Yellendu mandal on Wednesday, died while undergoing treatment at a private hospital here on Thursday.
The condition of 11 others, including a three-year-old boy, remained serious. Six of them were kept on ventilator support at two private hospitals here.
The deceased have been identified as Moodu Sai ( 6), and Kalti Swamy( 38), of Thuntabala Tanda and Yellapuram Tanda of Yellendu mandal. The Excise officials suspect it to be a case of Organophosphorous pesticide poisoning. Preliminary investigation revealed that the tragedy occurred due to illegal tapping of toddy from ‘sendhi’ trees by K Ramulu, a toddy tapper of Pollaram, who allegedly tied a piece of cloth containing insecticide (monocrotophos) in the sapping area of the tree to keep insects and flies at bay.
The pesticide oozed out owing to rain in the village on Tuesday resulting in contamination of the toddy. Ramulu allegedly tapped toddy from the tree and sold it to the villagers, mainly comprising tribal people of the neighbouring hamlets.
While some of the villagers consumed the contaminated toddy near the trees, a few others carried it to their houses and gave the same to two boys. While Moodu Sai died on Thursday evening, Kunja Ranjith ( 3) is battling for life.
“A case has been registered under Sections 34 (a) & (b) r/w 37 (a) of the A P Excise Act, 1968,” against Ramulu, said Deputy Commissioner, Prohibition & Excise, Gangadhar.
Ramulu was arrested and sent to judicial remand by the Yellendu excise police. The sample of contaminated toddy has been sent to the lab in Warangal for chemical analysis.