For the 28-year-old married woman, getting taunted for her dark coloured skin complexion had been an everyday phenomenon in her life. Her cooking skills also became a matter of joke for her relatives.

But things reached an unbearable level for her – so much so that she decided to take matters in her hand and retaliate to the taunting and comments.

And the action was something that not many could even imagine.

This woman of Maharashtra’s Raigad district poisoned her entire family and many others on Monday when they had gathered for a family function on the occasion of the house-warming party of a relative. Police said five people died which included four children. Additionally, about 120 guests also fell sick after they had consumed the poisoned food.

At Mahad village, a house warming party in Subhash Mane’s home had been arranged. At that function, the accused Pragya Survase, a housewife, allegedly mixed insecticide in the food and served it to the guests at her relative’s party. Even children weren’t spared.

After the dinner, almost all of the guests who had consumed the food complained of stomach aches and started to vomit. Soon, they were admitted to different hospitals. The police were informed about the incident. Preliminary police investigations found that all of those who had fallen sick had consumed the same food. Police said they sent food samples for analysis and the report from the lab confirmed the presence of insecticide.

The police initiated its investigation from the crime scene where they recovered empty bottles of insecticide near the relative’s house. Further investigations by the police and the questioning of the relatives present on the occasion raised their suspicion against Ms Survase. The woman allegedly confessed to her crimes when the police pressed her further.

She was arrested and a case of murder, attempt to murder and other offences was filed against her.

Police further said Ms Survase had got married about two years ago. She was severely criticised for her dark complexion and lack of cooking skills by her relatives.

After she got the invitation for the house warming party, she took it as an opportunity to take revenge on everyone and hence chalked out the plan.

A police officer said the four children aged between 7 and 13 years and a 53-year-old man had died of the food poisoning.

Raigad Superintendent of Police Anil Paraskar said “She has confessed to the crime citing marital, family disputes. Further investigations are on.”

Some victims are serious and still undergoing treatment at the hospital while others have been discharged five days after the incident.

(Adapted from