‘Dark’ kin behind Raigad poisoning

The Asian Age.

Metros, Mumbai

Seven other guests are on ventilators and battling for their lives in a local hospital.

(Representational image)

Mumbai: Raigad’s Khalapur police on Friday arrested a 24-year-old woman for poisoning the ‘prasad’ served at her relative’s housewarming party held on Monday due to which three children had died within hours of consuming the food, while two more guests died Friday. The accused, Jyoti alias Pragya Suresh Suvase, a relative of Subhash Mane, who hosted the dinner, had allegedly added the poison to retaliate against her mistreatment by the Mane family on grounds of her being dark-skinned and bringing bad luck upon them, the police said.

Seven other guests are on ventilators and battling for their lives in a local hospital. Police suspects she had used an insecticide meant for killing snakes. Raigad superintendent of police Anil Paraskar said,  “We have arrested Suvase, who is a relative of the host of the housewarming in Mahad village. The person has been arrested for poisoning the food that led to death of five persons, including four minors, and several guests falling sick and being hospitalised.”

When asked what was the clue which led to Suvase’s culpability, SP Paraskar said, “When we started our probe we went to the hospital where we inquired about the type of food poison. We discovered that it is an insecticide. It looked like a sabotage to us. So we called all those who served food. On interrogation, Suvase confessed.”

A 24-year-old woman, Jyoti Pragya Suvase, has been arrested for the Raigad food poisoning. According to the police, she deliberately added a snake-killing pesticide that emits toxic fumes, as she was frustrated over the fact that her relatives thought she brought bad luck because she was dark-skinned.

Suvase was also hospitalised, but she was not harmed, and her hands were tinking with the smell of insecticide, said police. The empty bottle of pesticide was recovered from the backyard of Mane's house, which was wrapped in a pink plastic. The pesticide is called 'phorte', a chemical used to spray around the house in rural areas to prevent snakes. The fumes released are highly toxic and can lead to death.   

The Khalapur police arrested Suvase under various IPC sections- 302 Punishment for murder, 307 attempt to murder, 328 causing hurt by means of poison, 338 causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others.