Five adivasis die in Andhra Pradesh after consuming local, counterfeit toddy

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Five adivasis died in Andhra Pradesh’s East Godavari district on Wednesday after consuming toddy laced with poison, according to police.

Chedala Sugreevu (65), Vemula Lova Raju (25), Pothuru Ganga Raju (35), Busari Sanyasi Rao (50), and Kude Yesu Babu (23) were all from Rajavommangi block’s Lododdi village.

Though it was initially assumed that the tribal men died as a result of consuming tainted toddy, preliminary investigations revealed that the toddy they consumed was poisoned.

“We are investigating whether somebody intentionally mixed poison in the toddy in the pots tied to the palm trees or whether it was contaminated by venom spit by any poisonous snake creeping on the trees,” Rampachodavaram additional superintendent of police Krishna Kant Patel told.

According to Patel, the five tribal men drank toddy from two palm trees in the morning and were knocked out within minutes. Other villagers saw froth oozing from their mouths and rushed them to Jaddangi Primary Health Centre, where doctors administered first aid.

“Later, when they were being shifted to Yeleswaram community health centre, two tribes – Sugreevu and Lovaraju – succumbed. The three others were immediately taken to the government general hospital at Kakinada district headquarters. While two of them died on the spot, Yesu Babu died in the Kakinada hospital while undergoing treatment in the afternoon,” Patel said.

At the Jaddangi police station, a case of suspicious death was filed. “We’ve sent the toddy samples to a lab in Kakinada for testing.” “More investigation is underway,” Patel added.

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