At least 12 children fell ill after consuming candies, apparently laced with narcotic substances, given to them by four unidentified persons here in Chhattisgarh, police said. The police have launched a search for the four men based on statements and description given by the children. The kids, aged between 3 to 8 years, from Khamtarai village under Sarkanda police station limits, were admitted last night to the Chhattisgarh Institute of Medical Sciences here after they complained of abdominal pain and vomiting, CIMS dean P K Patra said today. Of them, 11 were discharged this afternoon after their condition improved, while a girl, identified as Akansha (8), was kept under observation, he said, adding she is expected to be discharged by tomorrow morning. Prima facie it seems the children consumed food items which either contained narcotic substances or were infected with fungus, Patra said, adding further examination was underway in this connection. As per preliminary investigation, four unidentified men, with their faces covered, came in two cars last evening in Khamtarai and distributed white-coloured candies and powder to children who were playing in the locality. The men distributed the candies as 'prasad' to the kids and left the spot, a senior police official said. At around 9 pm, the children complained of abdominal pain and started vomiting following which they were shifted to the CIMS, he said.
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