Patna, July 23: While Chhapra continues to mourn the death of 23 children due to consumption of poisoned midday meal, the Bihar government has clearly said that it can not guarantee that such disaster will not repeat.
State Education Minister P K Shahi said on Monday that he could not guarantee that the food served in 72,000 schools across the state would be safe if there were people hell bent to make such disaster happen. The JD(U) government has been maintaining that the midday meal in the Chhapra school was deliberately laced with pesticide.
The forensic report based on the poisoned food samples and contaminated cooking oil revealed that they contained insecticide called monocrotophos. The World Health Organisation had reportedly asked India to ban the toxic substance four years ago.
The headmistress of the school where the tragedy occurred, Meena Devi, along with her husband who had allegedly supplied the food items for the meal, have been absconding since the children started to collapse. Five empty packets of insecticide were found at the teacher's house on Sunday.
The children who died were aged between four and 10 and some of them were buried in the school compound as a mark of protest by their parents.