Bihar Mid day Meal: Pesticide found at principal's home

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Chhapra, July 22: In a shocking development in the investigation on Bihar mid-day meal tragedy case, police reportedly recovered packets of pesticide at the residence of the school principal Meena Devi.

A forensic report on Saturday, July 20 had confirmed the presence of poisonous pesticide in the mid-day meal served to the students of the school in Chhapra headed by Meena Devi.

Mid Day Meal

The Forensic Science Laboratory report found Monocrotophos, an organophosphorous compound in the samples of oil from the container, food remains on the platter and mixture of rice with vegetables on Aluminium tasla (utensil), Additional Director General of Police (HQ) Ravinder Kumar told reporters making the report public.

Monocrotophos is used as a pesticide for agricultural purposes. It is very toxic to human beings and other animals, the ADG said quoting the FSL report. The report confirmed the Bihar government's apprehension that the food given to the children of Dharmasati Gandaman primary school at Chhapra was poisoned.

The school principal, who have been absconding since the tragedy took place in the school killing 23 children, was likely to surrender herself. Earlier the needle of suspicions were raised the Meena Devi. It was reported that opposition party leaders allegedly had hatched the conspiracy against the kids targeting the ruling state government.

PK Shahi, the Education Minister in Bihar, had informed that all grocery items used in mid-day meals were brought from a shop which is owned by Arjun Rai, husband of the school principal. Questioning Rai's alleged role in the "conspiracy", the minister also claimed that Rai belongs to an opposition party.

Shahi also said that autopsies of the children revealed that organo-Phosphorous had been injected into the meal. Raising serious questions regarding the alleged conspiracy, the minister asserted, "All the food items used to be brought from his grocery shop. It is a matter of an inquiry how poison was used."

A massive hunt was launched to nab the absconding principal and other teachers. The mid-day meal scheme in Bihar always remains in controversial news. Dead lizards, frogs, insects and even a rat have been found in food cooked for the mid-day meal in schools in the state.

Meanwhile, The Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government released an advertisement in newspapers that reportedly directs the schools' principals and cooks to first eat the food themselves before it is served to students.

The advertisement says, "Even when an Education department supervisor visits the school during surprise checks, he/she should taste the midday meals." The ad also instructs schools not to store insecticides alongside food ingredients and cattle feed to prevent contamination of the food given to school children.

OneIndia News
(With PTI inputs)

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