Seven persons died, and five others fell ill after allegedly consuming Drosera-30, a homoeopathic medicine with about 91 per cent alcohol, as an alternative for alcohol in Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, on Thursday, said the police. A probe revealed that they procured the syrup from a homoeopathy practitioner near the village.
While four died at their homes on Tuesday night, the other three died at two hospitals on Wednesday afternoon, Bilaspur Superintendent of Police Prashant Agarwal said.
Kamlesh Dhuri (32), Akshya Dhuri (21), Rajesh Dhuri (21), Samru Dhuri (25), Khemchand Dhuri (40), Kailash Dhuri (50), and Dipak Dhuri (30) died after consumption. The families of those who died on Tuesday night conducted their last rites the next morning without informing authorities, suspecting COVID. On being alerted about the deaths following the hospitalization of the other three, the police rushed to the village to find five more locals who had consumed the medicine in a critical condition. Four of them have been shifted to Chhattisgarh Institute of Medical Sciences Bilaspur, and another to a private hospital, informed Agrawal.
"Prima facie, it seems like the deceased had consumed the syrup in excess as a substitute for liquor. However, the exact cause of the deaths will be known once the post-mortem report arrives," the official said. A case has been registered, and investigation is underway, he added.