A probe has been initiated after at least 400 personnel belonging to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) fell ill at a camp in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, that they are attached to. The police suspected it to be a case of food poisoning, though have not ruled out other possibilities.
All 400 men complained of illness and soon showed symptoms of food-poisoning — nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea — after consuming fish curry on the evening of Sunday, April 1. Many of them have been rushed to local hospitals, and are undergoing treatment.
CRPF Director General (DG) Sudeep Lakhtakiya said the jawans were at the camp to undergo some training, and had complained of nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea after their dinner, in which fish was served. They received initial treatment at the training centre itself, before the condition of many of them got worse and they were shifted to local hospitals.
Around 110 of them have been kept under observation at the Trivandrum Medical College Hospital. Kerala Health Minister KK Shylaja visited them late on Saturday night and took stock of their treatment regimen. By Sunday (April 2) morning, only a few of them remained in hospital as the rest were discharged.
Lakhtakiya told a news agency: "We are finding the source of the material used to cook the particular meal that was served to the jawans. Initial enquiry suggests that the fish might have been bad. However, the training centre in charge is looking up the entire case."
Personnel from the Indian Army and the paramilitary forces have in recent times complained of the conditions they are forced to work in and the rations they are given. The latest incident will add to that narrative, and it won't be a surprise if some reforms are undertaken to improve things on the ground as far as the forces are concerned.