This is the third arrest made by the police after 16-year-old Devananda’s death due to food poisoning caused by eating an allegedly rotten shawarma.

One more person has been arrested by the Chandera police in Kerala in connection with the death due to suspected food poisoning in Kasargod district. A 16-year-old student from the district died of food poisoning and 49 others were hospitalised after consuming food from an outlet named Ideal Food Point located in Neeleswaram of Kasargod.

Ahamed, the manager of the outlet, is the third arrest made in the case. Two others – Sandhesh, who made the shawarma, and the restaurant’s managing partner Anas – were arrested on May 2. The owner of the outlet, who lives in Dubai, has also been called for an investigation by the police. It has been found that the restaurant was functioning without necessary licenses and was sealed after the student’s death. Those arrested have been booked under sections 304 (death by negligence), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 272 (adulteration) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

According to reports, Devananda, the deceased, fell sick shortly after she ate the shawarma on April 29 and on Sunday, May 1, she passed away. After her death, violence was reported outside the restaurant, with an angry crowd setting ablaze a vehicle that belonged to the restaurant. Local residents threw rocks and stones at the restaurant and broke the windows. They also set a vehicle of the shop on fire, following which the police issued a warning that the people should not indulge in such activities and resort to violence.

According to sources, the food shop was situated near a tuition center that the students attended. District Medical Officer AV Ramdas had told that more cases were expected – as the restaurant functioned for a day after the student’s death before it was sealed – and that doctors and staff from other nearby medical institutions have been asked to be present at the Cheruvathur PHC and Neeleswaram Taluk hospitals.

Fresh raids were conducted on the restaurant on May 2 and it was found that the eatery did not have a license. Inspections were also not conducted by authorities as only those outlets with licenses are the ones that undergo checks.

State Food and Civil Supplies Department, in a statement, said that the outlet, functioning without proper license from the department, has been sealed and the District Collector directed to conduct an investigation. State Health Minister Veena George has also ordered a comprehensive inquiry into the incident.

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