Nine more inmates of Byculla jail fall sick

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Nine more inmates of the Byculla prison here have fallen sick due to suspected food poisoning, taking the total count of the affected prisoners, most of them women, to 104 over the last four days, an official said today.

The nine prisoners were hospitalised yesterday after they complained of stomach pain and dehydration, J J Hospital’s medical superintendent Dr Sanjay Surase said.

On July 20, 81 inmates of the Byculla women’s prison were admitted in the state-run J J Hospital after they fell ill, with officials suspecting that food poisoning, contaminated water or reaction from a medicine as the reason behind their illness.

The number rose to 95 by Saturday, with more inmates complaining of similar symptoms.
While most of the prisoners were discharged, 15 inmates, including 13 women, were still in the hospital, Surase said.

Among the 13 women, two were pregnant, a police official said.

An investigation was on to ascertain the exact cause of the illness of the inmates, Surase said.

An anti-viral medicine was administered to all the prison inmates and staff on July 19, after which some prisoners had complained of uneasiness, a top prison official had earlier said.

The prime accused in the Sheena Bora murder case, Indrani Mukerjea, who is lodged in the same prison, was not among those admitted to the hospital, the jail officials had said.

The dean of J J Hospital, Mukund Tayade, had earlier said all those admitted had complained of vomiting, nausea and loose motions.

None of the patients was in a serious condition and they were responding well to treatment, he had added.

Samples of the drinking water and food given to the prisoners were being tested, an official had said.

The prison, which houses 312 inmates, was in the news last year when Manju Shette (45), a convict, died after allegedly being beaten up by jail officials. Six officials were arrested in the case.

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