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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

People from outside Bihar behind mid-day meal tragedy: Nitish

Ashok Mishra, Hindustan Times  Patna, July 24, 2013
First Published: 19:58 IST(24/7/2013) | Last Updated: 20:44 IST(24/7/2013)

The Chhapra mid-day meal tragedy was neither an accident nor was it caused by negligence; instead it was the handiwork of some persons from outside Bihar, said chief minister Nitish Kumar in Patna on Wednesday.


Addressing the media for the first time since 23 children died after eating the mid-day meal at Dharmasati Gandaman Primary School in Saran district on July 17, Kumar said, “While it would not be appropriate to comment on the ongoing police investigations — and I do not want to influence it in any way — all evidence available till now point to the involvement of people with a definite purpose in mind.” Read: Nitish smells BJP-RJD nexus in meal tragedy

“It’s up to the director general of police to find the culprits and produce them before the people,” the chief minister added.

Kumar said the report of the forensic science laboratory showed that there was a high concentration of pesticide in the meal, he added.

He, however, assured that every possible angle was being thoroughly probed by the special investigation team and the guilty would be booked at any cost.

“The probe would be complete… and go into the core of the issue,” Kumar said, dismissing the clamour for a probe by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) from some sections of politicians. “It has become a fashion to demand a CBI inquiry at the drop of a hat,” he said. “…But there is no need to take such a measure at this stage as the Bihar Police is capable of unravelling the case.” Read: State issues orders for attachment of property of Chapra principal

Facing criticism for remaining silent on the incident and not visiting the village where it took place, Kumar tried to calm matters saying that he had broken his leg.

He denied the claims of the Opposition that delay in receiving medical help had led to more deaths. “The response time was the quickest possible and the doctors tried their best to save lives,” he said.

“But these things are not such that the world and the media should know,” he said. “I am not the kind of person who would prefer to remain silent or sit idle at home.”
Read: Bihar govt denies alert from Centre on mid-day meal

He denied the claims of the Opposition that delay in receiving medical help had led to more deaths. “The response time was the quickest possible and the doctors tried their best to save lives,” he said.


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