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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

Mid-day meal deaths: Principal on the run, viscera report awaited

Arun Kumar, Hindustan Times  Patna/Mashrakh, July 19, 2013
First Published: 18:44 IST(19/7/2013) | Last Updated: 18:50 IST(19/7/2013)

The police in Bihar is awaiting the viscera report which will conclusively identify the poisonous substance in Tuesday’s mid-day meal that killed 23 students at a school before filing chargesheet in the case.

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The police is also looking for principal Meena Devi and her husband who supplied mid-day meal rations to the school.

Meena Devi, as per the FIR, is the prime suspect as she is the one who forced the cook to use the oil despite the latter’s complaint about the quality of the oil.

The cook has been hospitalised and two of her children died after consuming the meal. She is in trauma since the incident.

Suprintendent of police, Chhapra, Sujit Kumar said charge sheet will be filed in the case only after they get viscera report even as forensic department officials said the report may take more time.

The deaths also highlighted how the monitoring agencies have failed to check the corruption in mid-day meal scheme.

In 2012, the government had made deputy collectors in-charge of the scheme to ensure better management. Senior deputy collector, Shabir Hussain, has never visited the school. “I never received any complaint about the school. Junior officers may have visited it,” he said.

Meanwhile, 20 students were taken ill after having their mid-day meals at St Joseph High School in Goa. This is the second such incident in Goa this month. Their condition is said to be stable.


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