Three teenaged boys died of suspected food poisoning at a private residential school in Karnataka's Tumkaru district, an official said on Thursday.
"The boys, students of Vidhyavaridhi International Boarding in Huliyar town, are suspected to have died of food poisoning, as they fell seriously ill after eating rice and sambar on Wednesday night and were rushed to a hospital for treatment," Tumakuru Deputy Commissioner Mohan Raj told IANS over phone.
They were identified as Shanthamurthy, Aakansha Pallakki and Shreyas, aged 14-15 years and studying in classes 8 and 10.
Huliyar is 160 km from Bengaluru.
Two others who ate the same food - 15-year-old Sudarshan and watchman Ravi Kiran - are being treated in a government hospital at Tumakuru.
"Four persons - mess in-charge Suhas, head cook Shivanna, assistant cook Rangalakshmi and attendant Jagdish - were arrested for culpable homicide as the boys were under their care," Tumakuru Superintendant of Police Isha Pant told IANS.
Police registered an FIR against the accused under section 304A of the Indian Penal Code on a joint complaint by the victims' parents.
"Samples of the food have been sent to the forensic laboratory for analysis," said District Health Officer H.V. Rangaswamy.
The school is being run by former Congress lawmaker Kiran Kumar and his wife.
"The bodies were handed over to the parents after autopsy," added Pant.