Mid-day meal deaths: parents of kids go on rampage

  • AFP, Gandaman, bihar
  • Updated: Jul 19, 2013 20:10 IST
  • Bodies of the children, who died in Chhapra after consuming contaminated mid-day meals, lying on ground. (HT Photo)

    Bihar's killer mid-day meal

    Bodies of the children, who died in Chhapra after consuming contaminated mid-day meals, lying on ground. (HT Photo)

  • Burial ground in front of the school where the mid-day meal was served that took 22 lives in Chhapra, Bihar. (HT Photo)

    Bihar's killer mid-day meal

    Burial ground in front of the school where the mid-day meal was served that took 22 lives in Chhapra, Bihar. (HT Photo)

  • Vehicles of Bihar

    Bihar's killer mid-day meal

    Vehicles of Bihar's BDO, DSP and police station set on fire, as the death toll in Bihar's mid-day meal tragedy mounts to 22. (HT Photo)

  • Vehicles of Bihar

    Bihar's killer mid-day meal

    Vehicles of Bihar's BDO, DSP and police station set on fire, as the death toll in Bihar's mid-day meal tragedy mounts to 22. (HT Photo)

  • Vehicles of Bihar

    Bihar's killer mid-day meal

    Vehicles of Bihar's BDO, DSP and police station set on fire, as the death toll in Bihar's mid-day meal tragedy mounts to 22. (HT Photo)

  • Mourning relatives of three brothers, who were among the 22 children who died in Chhapra after consuming contaminated mid-day meals. (HT Photo)

    Bihar's killer mid-day meal

    Mourning relatives of three brothers, who were among the 22 children who died in Chhapra after consuming contaminated mid-day meals. (HT Photo)

  • The abandoned house of Meena Devi, headmistress of the Chhapra school where the mid-day meal was served that took 22 lives in Chhapra, Bihar. (HT Photo)

    Bihar's killer mid-day meal

    The abandoned house of Meena Devi, headmistress of the Chhapra school where the mid-day meal was served that took 22 lives in Chhapra, Bihar. (HT Photo)

  • School children receive treatment at a hospital after they fell ill after eating a free meal at a primary school in Bihar

    Bihar's killer mid-day meal

    School children receive treatment at a hospital after they fell ill after eating a free meal at a primary school in Bihar's Chhapra district. (AP Photo)

  • School children receive treatment at a hospital after they fell ill after eating a free meal at a primary school in Bihar

    Bihar's killer mid-day meal

    School children receive treatment at a hospital after they fell ill after eating a free meal at a primary school in Bihar's Chhapra district. (AP Photo)

  • A man mourns as he holds his daughter

    Bihar's killer mid-day meal

    A man mourns as he holds his daughter's body, who died after eating the mid-day meal in her school, outside a hospital in Patna, Bihar. (AP Photo)

  • Villagers prepare to bury the children who had died, allegedly as a result of food-poisoning from the free mid-day meal provided at their school, near Chhapra in Bihar. HT Photo

    Bihar's killer mid-day meal

    Villagers prepare to bury the children who had died, allegedly as a result of food-poisoning from the free mid-day meal provided at their school, near Chhapra in Bihar....

  • A relative weeps over the body of a schoolchild, who consumed a free mid-day meal at a school in the Saran district of Bihar, at a hospital in Patna. Twenty-two children have died after eating a free lunch feared to contain poisonous chemicals at an primary school, officials said, as the tragedy sparked angry street protests. AFP PHOTO

    Bihar's killer mid-day meal

    A relative weeps over the body of a schoolchild, who consumed a free mid-day meal at a school in the Saran district of Bihar, at a hospital in Patna. Twenty-two children...

Grieving parents rampaged through Gandaman village in Bihar to protest the deaths of 23 pupils who ate a poisoned school lunch and the perceived slow police response to the tragedy, officials said on Friday.

Parents smashed up the home of the school's headmistress and attacked government offices in the village, where the children died after being served a meal, apparently laced with insecticide, on Tuesday.

"Why have the police not been able to arrest the headmistress who forced our children to eat poisonous food? She should be killed," said bereaved father Surendra Rai, who took part in the raid late on Thursday after most of the children were buried.

Many of the victims, aged four to 12, from Gandaman village, were laid to rest on a playing field adjacent to the primary school that served the free meal of rice, lentils and potatoes -- the only meal of the day for many.

Some 30 children remain sick in hospitals, mainly in the state capital Patna, officials said.

Police said they are probing whether the food or the cooking oil was accidentally or deliberately poisoned, after initial tests showed traces of insecticide. The results of forensic tests on the food are expected to be ready later Friday.

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