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Andhra Pradesh: Suspicious death of 17-year-old girl at madarsa in Vijayawada triggers outrage, family denies claims of health issues

Karsihma’s mother, Mastan Bi said, “My daughter’s health condition was good, and she did not suffer from fever. Food poisoning was not the cause of death.”

On 28th June, a 17-year-old girl named Karishma died under mysterious circumstances at a madrasa in Ajit Singh Nagar, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. The incident has triggered significant controversy and unrest in the area. The parents of a girl student have raised suspicions of foul play and alleged that there were injuries on her body and they were called after six hours of the incident. On the other hand, the Madarsa administration said she fell ill due to food poisoning.

Karishma was a native of the village Angaluru near Gudivada in Krishna district. She joined the madrasa to study Arabic and Urdu a year ago. On the day of the incident, she fainted and was rushed to the Government General Hospital (GGH) where she was declared dead. The madarsa is being run by a man named Syed Shahid Parveez under Niswan Educational and Chairtable Trust.

A case of suspicious death under Section 174 of CrPC was registered by the police after shifting the dead body to the GGH mortuary. Police official investigating the case said in a statement, “A suspicious death case has been registered, and the body was handed over to the family after post-mortem. The investigation is on.”

Shaikh Mastan Bi and Maabu Subhani, parents of Karishma, suspected foul play. They staged a protest at Madarsa and GGH mortuary on the night of 28th June. Karsihma’s mother, Mastan Bi said, “My daughter’s health condition was good, and she did not suffer from fever. Food poisoning was not the cause of death.” She demanded a thorough investigation into the matter.

Upon learning about the incident, local authorities including Vijayawada Central MLA Bonda Umamaheswara Rao, Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) officials and police reached Madarsa to investigate the matter. There are 66 students at the madrasa from different districts including Guntur, Khammam, Krishna, and Eluru.

While the madrasa officials claimed Karishma fell ill due to food poisoning, local authorities said they did not find any evidence to support their claim. There were concerns that other students also suffered food poisoning and were taken to the hospital. Andhra Jyothi report suggested that around eight other students suffered food poisoning.

Reportedly, the madrasa was running without any official permission as told by NTR District Education Officer (DEO) UV Subba Rao. District Medical and Health Officer (DM&HO) Dr M Suhasini confirmed other students were healthwise stable.

Speaking to the media, Ajit Singh Nagar Circle Inspector, Guru Prakash said that the cause of Karishma’s death was unknown and the police were waiting for the RFSL report. The body was handed over to the family after postmortem. Meanwhile, officials from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) raided Madarsa and found around 100 KG of rotting meat from the freezer that had been lying there for several days. The samples were sent for laboratory examination.

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