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Bihar mid-day meal tragedy: More kids fall ill in Madhubani

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 17:04

Zee Media Bureau

Patna: A day after 22 kids lost their lives due to food poisoning after consuming mid-day meal at a government primary school in Bihar`s Saran district, some more kids were taken ill in the state`s Madhubani district on Wednesday.

According to reports, the children fell ill shortly after they were served the mid-day meals in a primary school in Madhubani.

As per reports, the students were served rice, dal and vegetables, and shortly after they consumed the meals, some of them complained of stomach ache and fell ill.

All those kids who fell ill and complained of stomach ache were immediately rushed to hospital for treatment.

Out of those who are undergoing treatment, two are said to be in a critical state. The doctors say 13 other students are out of danger.

Eye-witnesses say that a lizard was found in the vegetable served in the mid day meal.

The death toll due to food poisoning after mid-day meals were served in Bihar`s Dharamsati primary school in Masrakh in Saran district today rose to 22.

While 16 children, aged below 10 years and studying in Class I to V, had died in Chhapra itself, four others were declared dead on arrival at Patna Medical College Hospital (PMCH) late last night. Two died at the hospital this morning, official and PMCH sources said.

Although a forensic report is awaited, the Bihar police said, "The children belonging to the age group of 8 to 12 years, fell ill soon after eating the meal, which consisted of rice, pulse and soyabean.
Twenty five others are under medical supervision in PMCH, Superintendent of PMCH Amarkant Jha Azad said."

A case has been registered against the school`s headmistress Meena Devi and other teachers.

Principal Secretary, education, Amarjeet Sinha said that he suspected the deaths occurred by organo phosphorous poisoning caused due to traces of insecticides.

Nitish Kumar expressed shock over the incident and announced a compensation of Rs.2 lakh to the kin of each of the dead school children. He also summoned Shahi to discuss the issue.

The BJP has demanded resignation of Nitish Kumar on moral grounds, while RJD chief Lalu Prasad blamed the deaths on rampant corruption in welfare schemes.

In Bihar, widespread corruption is reported in the mid-day meal scheme and government guidelines on food quality are ignored.

In past, dead lizards, frogs, insects and a rat were found in the food cooked for the mid-day meal, angering students and parents.

Bandh in Saran district

In the wake of Tuesday`s mid-day meal tragedy, three political parties - RJD, BJP and LJP – today called for a day-long bandh.

The bandh has evoked good response with all markets closed and vehicular traffic almost nil in Chapra town, reports said.

Though schools, colleges, banks and government offices are open, thin attendance was recorded in all the institutions. Policemen wielded lathis at some places in Chapra to quell stone pelting protesters, the sources said.

First Published: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 16:45
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