At least 150 people have fallen sick after eating biryani served at a public meeting organised by Awami League leader Parvin Talukder Maya in Jhenaidah. Maya, a former AL lawmaker, distributed biryani among her supporters in Moheshpur on Tuesday and Kotchandpur on Wednesday as part of her preparation to contest the upcoming national election as an MP from Jhenaidah-3 constituency.
“About 140 people with complaints of food poisoning are now under treatment in Kotchandpur,” said Upazila Health Officer Shahab Uddin.
Besides, five others were undergoing treatment at Kaliganj Upazila Health Complex. They were taken ill after they ate biryani.
Maya told bdnews24.com that she launched a campaign to garner public support in a bid to win a nomination from the Awami League for the election due in December. “As part of this, I held rallies and meetings in the constituency.”
In reply to a question, she said: “As many as 5,000 biryani packets were distributed at the Kotchandpur public gathering. Biryani was cooked by a local chef at my own residence in Moheshpur. I also fell sick.”
This correspondent visited the Kotchandpur hospital and found that doctors and nurses failed to cope with a sudden surge of patients.
Many patients lay on the floor as there are limited beds in the hospital.
Mosharraf Hossain, a resident of Mamunshia village, said he received a biryani packet after the end of the event. “I had diarrhoea, stomach ache and nausea.”
Another villager claimed the same as Hossain.
A five-member team, led by Additional Superintendent of Police Kanak Kumar Das, has been formed to probe the incident, said Mizanur Rahman, superintendent of police for the district.