A 40-year-old woman died and her husband was hospitalised after they allegedly consumed a poisonous substance over denial of entry into their village that was declared a COVID-19 containment zone near Pune in Maharashtra, police said on Wednesday. The incident took place on Tuesday evening when the couple got into an argument with on-duty police personnel who suggested them to take an alternative route to reach their home in village Umbraj under Junnar tehsil of Pune district, they said.
According to the police, after consuming a poisonous substance in protest, the woman died, while her husband is undergoing treatment at a private hospital.
"The deceased and her husband are residents of Umbraj and run business of selling vegetables and flowers in the vicinity of their village.
"On Tuesday evening, they returned to their village in a tempo after selling vegetables and flowers.
"Sincea few cases of COVID-19 were reported from the village, it was turned into a containment zone and barricades were put up at the entrance of the village to restrict entry," said Sandip Patil, Superintendent of Police.
The couple asked police personnel who were on duty to remove barricades to allow them to go inside the village, he said.
Police personnel and members of the local gram samiti, however, told them that four coronavirus patients have been found in the village so entry has been restricted. They asked the couple to take an alternative route to reach their home, the SP said.
"The couple, however, was adamant on taking the regular route and insisted on removal of barricades but the police did not relent.
"The couple, who had a bottle of a banned pesticide with them, took it out and consumed the substance. While the man immediately spat, his wife gulped it," Patil added.
The couple was immediately rushed to hospital where the woman died, he said.
"The man is currently undergoing treatment and his condition is stable," said Patil.
The SP said police personnel did not use any force against the couple and only requested them to comply with rules.
"Still, we have ordered an inquiry into the incident," he added.