Around twenty-five students were taken ill after the 158 children consumed mid-day meal on Thursday in which a dead lizard was found in a school at Abhanpur situated barely 25 km east of state capital Raipur.
With the increasing cases of dead animals being found in the mid-day meals elsewhere being reported, a dead lizard in cooked rice was the first incidence in Chhattisgarh.
The Raipur collector Sanjay Garg told Hindustan Times that all the affected students who complained of nausea or had bouts of vomiting were rushed to nearest health centres for immediate medical treatment.
"It appears to be a gross negligence and head master of the school Janki Chandrakar has been suspended and inquiry instituted", said Garg.
Affected students have been kept under the medical observations, though the doctors attending them did not find any evidence of food poisoning till the evening.
The incident has created stir in Abanpur and the parents stormed the school demanding stern action against those responsible.
The students who were admitted in the dispensaries narrated that they were usually served with poor and sub-standard quality food in the school. The mid-day meals in several districts in Chhattisgarh are being prepared by the women self-help group (SHG).
The contract with the Abhanpur SHG has been terminated, informed the collector. The district medical officer and block education officer have been asked to submit their reports after conducting the investigation.
The cook Shivlal who was removed for negligence of duty claimed that the lizard might have fallen from the ceiling when the food was being cooked and he failed to notice it.