Millennium Post

A clear case of mixing poison in food, says Bihar minister

Under attack from the opposition over the death of 22 school children after consumption of midday meal at Saran, the Bihar government on Wednesday said it suspected a conspiracy behind the tragedy.

‘The deaths were not due to food poisoning but it’s a clear case of mixing poison in food,’ state education minister PK Shahi told reporters here. He said doctors attending the students at Chhapra sadar hospital have reported that the children had died due to the presence of poisonous organic phosphorous in the food.

‘From where did this organic phosphorous come in the food given to students as part of the midday meal scheme?’ Shahi asked and told the police to investigate the matter. The minister hinted at the involvement of opposition RJD in the tragedy though he did not make any direct reference.

‘Arjun Rai, the husband of the school headmistress, had supplied the food material for the midday meal. He is an active member of a party and cousin of local leader Dhruv Rai of Mashrakh, who is close to a prominent leader of a party (RJD),’ he said. Rai, Shahi said, owns the grocery shop from where the materials were taken by the school headmistress Meena Devi for the midday meal scheme.

Besides, the headmistress was posted at the school under pressure ‘from a particular party’. Block education officer Pramod Kumar, who is under suspension now, had appointed her as headmistress in charge of the school. The minister said, ‘Some people seem to be in a hurry to capture power anyhow and in persuading this ambition they are indulging in inhuman acts like the present tragedy.’

The couple is absconding and an FIR has been lodged in Mashrakh police station. against Meena Devi.
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