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Bihar mid day meal tragedy: Pesticide found in cooking oil

A forensic test found pesticide monocrotophos in the cooking oil that was used to prepare the meals for the Chhapra school children.

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Updated:July 20, 2013, 5:46 PM IST
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Bihar mid day meal tragedy: Pesticide found in cooking oil
A forensic test found pesticide monocrotophos in the cooking oil that was used to prepare the meals for the Chhapra school children.
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Patna: The Bihar Police said on Saturday that traces of pesticide have been found in the mid day meals that claimed 23 lives in Chhapra.

Bihar Police spokesperson Ravindra Kumar said a forensic test found pesticide monocrotophos in the cooking oil that was used to prepare the meals.

Kumar said the source of the contamination was a matter of investigation. "Our focus is on collecting evidence right now so that we have a strong case," Kumar said when asked why no arrests have been made yet in the case.

Twenty-three students of a government primary school in Chhapra died after eating mid day meals on Tuesday. The principal of the school is absconding. An inquiry report into the tragedy has claimed criminal negligence by the school principal.

"The report points to principal's negligence because it was her duty to ensure that the food was tasted by her and the cook before serving to the kids. Case has been registered against her under 302 and 328. In a day or two, I think the police will be able to come to a firm conclusion," the Chhapra DM said.

While no arrests have been made yet in the case, the Chappra administration on Saturday lodged an FIR against 30 named persons and 60 unknown persons for torching four police vehicles during protests. People had gone on a rampage on Wednesday during Chhapra bandh over the mid day meal tragedy.

The opposition parties - RJD and BJP - had called for a bandh in Chhapra on Wednesday and the LJP had called for Bihar bandh. But the bandh turned violent when protesters went on a rampage damaging public transport and police vehicles.

The RJD organised protests on Saturday also. The Opposition has also demanded a CBI inquiry into the tragedy.

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