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Pesticide in school kitchen; Bihar teacher held

IANS  Patna, July 27, 2013
First Published: 16:56 IST(27/7/2013) | Last Updated: 17:00 IST(27/7/2013)

A teacher was arrested in Bihar's Rohtas district for keeping pesticide in a government primary school's kitchen where mid-day meal used to be cooked, said the police on Saturday.

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This is the first case when a teacher has been arrested for keeping pesticide in school's kitchen less than two weeks after 23 children died after eating contaminated food at a primary school in the state's Saran district.

Manoj Kumar Chaudhary of primary school at Maudhiara village in Rohtas had kept the pesticide, Thymet, on the rack where the utensils for preparing and serving mid day meal in the school had been kept.

Rohtas district magistrate Sandeep Kumar R. Pudakalkatti said that matter came to light when some students found a bottle of Thymet when they were taking utensils for mid day meal.

"Some children told their parents, who protested and demanded action against the teacher after they found another bottle of the pesticide during search in the kitchen," he said.

A police official said a case of criminal negligence has been lodged against the teacher.

In the incident in which 23 children died after eating contaminated mid day meal at Gandaman village in Saran, school principal Meena Devi has been arrested and a court sent her to judicial custody till Aug 5, and allowed subjecting her to a polygraph test, police said.

A first information report (FIR) was registered against her.

According to district officials, Meena Devi had forced the cook to use an allegedly contaminated cooking oil despite the latter's complaint that it had a pungent smell.

A forensic lab report confirmed presence of toxic insecticide traces in the cooking oil used for making food at the school, police said.

The poisonous substance, organophosphorus, in oil samples collected from school was more than five times the commercial preparation available in market, police said.


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