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Bihar Minister says it's a clear case of poison in mid day meal


Prabhakar Kumar,CNN-IBN
Jul 17, 2013 at 11:52am IST

Chhapra: As protests continued over the mid day meal deaths in Chhapra on Wednesday, Bihar Education Minister PK Sahi has claimed it is a case of direct poisoning. He claims that the food was poisoned and that a probe will find if the poisoning was deliberate or accidental.

"It is not a case of food being contaminated, it is a clear case of poison in the food. We're investigating as to whether the poisoning was accidental or deliberate," Sahi told CNN-IBN.

ALSO SEE Bihar: Violent protests in Chhapra as mid day meal leaves 20 kids dead

Meanwhile, the Opposition continued to attack Bihar chief Minister Nitish Kumar over the mid day meal horror. "There were about 29 children and 9 are said to be critical. It is a very scary incident. The Chief Minister is extremely insensitive. It is cruel to value a child's life at Rs 2 lakh," BJP leader Giriraj Singh said.

Violent protests erupted in Chhapra on Wednesday where 20 children died on Tuesday after consuming mid day meal in their school. More than 50 others are in the hospital battling for life.

ALSO SEE Bihar mid day meal horror: 20 kids dead, Opposition asks Nitish to quit

The Opposition RJD and BJP have called for a bandh in the district on Wednesday, while the LJP called for Bihar bandh. Protesters went on a rampage, damaging public transport. "At one or two places, there were incidents of protesters burning things," said District Magistrate Abhijit Sinha.

The Opposition has launched a scathing attack on the Nitish Kumar government in the state. "There is no responsible governance in Bihar. The BJP and JD(U) just keep fighting with each other. They have forgotten the people of Bihar," said RJD leader Lalu Prasad.

ALSO SEE 20 children die after eating mid day meals, govt orders probe

This came after a mid day meal that proved fatal for school children in Chhapra in Bihar left 20 dead and over 50 hospitalised. The state government has ordered an inquiry.

Tragedy struck Dharamsati village on Tuesday afternoon as more than 50 children, all aged between 8 and 12 years, fell seriously ill after eating the mid day meal at their school. "As soon as my son returned from school, we rushed to the hospital with him. His condition was not good. He was vomiting and said his stomach was paining," said a parent.

When the children started vomiting and fainting after the meal, the parents rushed them to the nearby primary health centre. As their condition worsened, they were taken to the Chhapra district hospital.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar immediately summoned the HRD Minister and Departmental Secretary at his residence before rushing them to Chhapra. He also ordered an inquiry into the unfortunate incident, to be conducted by the Saran Commissioner and the DIG of Saran range. The Chief Minister also announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of the children who died.

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