Patna: At least 15 students have fallen ill in yet another case of food poisoning after consuming mid day meal at a government school in Madhubani district in Bihar. All the students have been admitted to a local hospital where the condition of two is stated to be critical. The doctors say 13 other students are out of danger.
According to reports, a dead lizard was found in the vegetable served in the mid day meal. The students were served rice, dal and vegetables and soon after the meals some of them complained of stomach ache and fell ill. The food was served to students of Navtolia Middle School, Bisfi, about 22 km from Madhubani.
All of them were rushed to a hospital with officials saying the critically ill students will be shifted to the Madhubani district hospital. District Magistrate Lokesh Kumar Singh and Circle Officer of Bisfi have reached the health centre to inquire into the matter.
This is the second incident of students falling ill after consuming the mid day meal in the state. On Tuesday a large number of students had fallen ill in Dharamsati village of Chhapra district in Bihar after a mid day meal.
Alt least 21 children and the cook have lost their lives after eating the meal at the school in Chhapra district. There have been massive violent protests with locals and political party workers vandalising public property and blocking roads even as the Nitish Kumar government in the state ordered an inquiry.
The Central Government has also taken note of the incident and said that the forensic report is expected on Wednesday. "It looks like a case of contaminated food. We're hoping to get the forensic results by today to be able to ascertain the reason why the food got contaminated," HRD Minister Pallam Raju said. "This is an example where we should exercise more caution in dealing with mid day meals. We're hoping others will pick up from this sad example," he added.
Meanwhile, the Opposition is all out against Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar over the incident. "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," RJD leader Lalu Prasad said.
The BJP also hit out at Nitish. "The government should have evacuated the children to Patna and made arrangements quickly. The government failed to take care of the situation. The CM should rush to Chhapra and meet the families of the children to see if they need anything," BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy said. The BJP and RJD have called for a bandh in Chhapra on Wednesday while the LJP called for Bihar bandh.
Meanwhile, Bihar Education Minister PK Sahi, speaking to CNN-IBN, claimed it was not a case of food poisoning. He claimed the food was poisoned and that a probe will find if the poisoning was deliberate or accidental.
Out of a total of 51 people who consumed the food, 27 are in hospital, battling for life. The cook who prepared the food also died in hospital on Wednesday morning.