Bengaluru: Three women were arrested on Tuesday in connection with poisoning of prasad at a temple in Karnataka's Chikkaballapur district, police said.

Two women died while scores of other people were hospitalised after complaints of vomiting and diarrhoea after they consumed prasad at Gangamma temple on January 25 evening.

Those arrested have been identified as Lakshmamma, Amaravathi and Parvathamma, police said.

"They have been arrested and remanded into judicial custody. They have been charged with IPC Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder). They can be remanded in police custody, if required," an officer at the Chintamani police station, according to a PTI report.

A family had visited Gangamma temple in Chintamani in Chikkaballapur district on January 25. After the pooja, the family members were offered prasad. None of them consumed it at the temple. Instead, they took it home and ate it. After eating the prasad, one woman died and 11 fell ill. They were immediately rushed to the hospital.

Police suspect that the allegations that the prasad was prepared with stale material was false but was laced with poison. Reports said that Lakshmamma had an affair with a man from the family named Lokesh and was allegedly plotting to kill his wife Gowri.

Lakshmamma wanted to give the poison-laden prasad to Gowri, but instead, ended up being consumed by Gowri's mother Sarashwathamma, 56, and her relative Kavitha, 28.

Lakshmamma is a wife of a goldsmith and Amaravathi is her domestic help, said Gowri, who filed a case against her husband.  Police have arrested him too.

A particular chemical used by goldsmiths was included in the prasad. Parvathamma, a flower vendor helped identify the victim and Amaravathi served it to Gowri and her family members.

Gowri's complaint also states that Lakshmamma had plotted to kill her earlier too. Lokesh and Gowri lived in the house rented out by Lakshmamma, where a relationship developed between Lokesh and her.

Allegedly, In November, Lakshmamma disguised herself in a hijab and offered prasad to Gowri after the consumption of which she fell ill and was hospitalised.

In December again, Lakshmamma allegedly poisoned a portion of sweet boondi and offered it to Gowri, and this time she and family members fell ill and were hospitalised. In both incidents there was no death reported.

In an unrelated but similar incident in December 2018, at least 17 people died and hundreds of devotees fell ill after consuming prasad at Kicchugatti Maramma Temple in Chamarajanagar, Karnataka.

A seer and three others including a woman were arrested on charges of conspiring to kill devotees. It was alleged that the accused wanted to defame the management and take control of the temple trust. The police had stated that they had poured five bottles of pesticide when the prasad was being prepared.