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Principal, husband charged with murder in chargesheet in Bihar midday-meal tragedy

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - 20:23

Chapra (Bihar): A school principal and her husband have been charged with murder in the chargesheet filed by police in a local court in the midday meal tragedy in a village primary school in Bihar`s Saran district in July in which 23 students died.

In the 346-page chargesheet filed in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Anil Kumar Jha two days ago, Meena Devi and Arjun Rai were charged under IPC sections 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) in the death of 23 students and illness to 30 others due to consumption of poisoned midday meal, Superintendent of Police Varun Kumar Sinha said today.

The couple could face death penalty if convicted.

The principal of the school in Dharmasati Gandaman village has since been suspended.

Sinha said he had written a letter to Public Prosecutor Ajit Kumar Singh, requesting him to impress upon the court to conduct a speedy trial in the case.

He said the 346-page chargesheet had been filed within the stipulated 90 days after the arrest of the principal and that a supplementary chargesheet would be also submitted in due course of time as the probe was still underway.

As many as 23 students, all minors, had died after consuming poisonous midday meal in the school and several others were taken ill and brought to the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) on July 16 this year.

Apprehending arrest, Devi and her husband had gone underground, but the former was arrested a week after the tragedy that had shocked the country. Her husband surrendered before a court last month.

Both the accused persons are presently lodged in a jail in Chapra.

First Published: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - 20:23

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