Residents of a village in the Naxal-hit Sukma district of Chhattisgarh say 61 people have died due to an unknown disease in the last three years. In fact, after the complaint of the villagers here, the district administration has started an inquiry. At the same time, villagers in Rengdagatta village under the Konta development block of the district have claimed that 61 people have died due to unknown diseases in the last three years. It is being told that there are 130 families in the village and the population of the village is about one thousand. On the other hand, officials of the district administration said that preliminary investigations have revealed that 47 people have died due to diseases and natural causes and other reasons in the last three years in the village.
The villagers had submitted a memorandum to the Sukma collector on July 27, claiming that 61 people with symptoms of swelling in their hands and feet have died in the village since 2020, including young men and women. After that, the villagers demanded the administration to send a team of doctors to the village to prevent the deaths and solve the problem. On the other hand, Sukma district collector Harish S said that a team of health workers and other experts was sent there last week after the issue was raised by locals. "Preliminary investigations reveal that 47 people had died in that village in the last three years, but not all of them have died due to the same reason, as claimed by the locals."
At the same time, he said that there was swelling on the bodies of some of the deceased and it could be due to various reasons. The collector further said that as per the preliminary report of samples from water sources, fluoride levels in two water sources were above the limit, while some water sources had higher iron content. Also, the collector said, "But right now we cannot say that deaths have taken place due to the amount of heavy metal in the water, as the intake of water with high fluoride leads to weakness in bones." There are no such symptoms in the local population. He further said, "The high iron content in the water also creates many complications, but it cannot cause sudden death. There may be other environmental reasons. Kidney-related diseases due to drinking alcohol can be one of the reasons."