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Mid-day meal tragedy: Bihar govt alleges conspiracy

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 19:01

Zee Media Bureau

Patna: A day after 22 students lost their lives due to food poisoning after consuming the mid-day meal served at a government primary school in Chhapra, the Bihar government on Wednesday alleged a political conspiracy behind the incidenty.

Talking to reporters, Bihar Education Minister PK Sahi said, “Dharamsati primary school principal Meena Kumari`s husband was a member of political party and used to supply the raw food items for the mid day meal at the school.”

The minister further claimed that a poisonous pesticide organic phosphorous was found in the food served at the school.

"According to the doctors the food contained organic phosphorous. The food was poisoned and forensic tests will reveal the kind of poison. If organic phosphorous is used in large quantity, then it acts as a strong poison," said the Bihar Education Minister.

Sahi also claimed that the principal was transferred to the primary school because of her political connections. Her husband, who used to provide the material for mid-day meal, is also very close to a prominent political leader of the state.
The Minister also told reports that all the raw material barring vegetables for the mid-day meal had been supplied by the shop belonging to Meena Kumari`s husband.

Sahi also told that one of the cooks detected a foul smell emanating from the cooking oil. However, she did not pay much heed to that.

Shortly after the students consumed the food, they started vomiting and complained that the vegetable, which was cooked in the oil supplied by Kumari’s husband, did not taste right, he added.
The Education Minister claimed that those students who fell ill were immediately taken to nearby hospital for treatment but the medical centre was not geared up to tackle to such situation due to which some students died.

Defending the state government, Sahi said that the JD-U government has done all it can to provide the best medical facilities to the students."

Sahi also attacked the opposition parties for creating a law and order situation to hamper the investigations into the tragedy and taking political mileage from the tragic incident.

First Published: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 18:48

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