Arrest warrant issued against absconding principal in Bihar midday meal tragedy

Chhapra, July 22 (ANI): Six days after 23 children had died from eating a poisoned midday meal at a government school in Bihar's Saran district, a court has issued an arrest warrant here on Monday against the absconding principal of the school.

The Chief Judicial Magistrate Narendra Mohan Jha issued the warrant of arrest for the principal, Meena Devi, after being approached by the Saran police in connection with the July 16 midday meal tragedy.

An FIR has already been lodged against the principal under IPC sections 302 (murder) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy).

Meena Devi, who has been suspended, is absconding along with her husband after the midday meal tragedy that raised food safety concerns.

"Raids are being made at different places based on clues about absconding school principal Meena Devi and her husband Arjun Rai but we have not been able to nab them so far," Saran Superintendent of Police Sujeet Kumar said.

The probe report of Commissioner (Saran) and Deputy Inspector General of Police (Saran range) Binod Kumar, which has been submitted to the state government, has also blamed the principal for the tragedy.

Confirming the presence of poisonous pesticides in the midday meal, the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) said the contaminated food contained monocrotophos, an organophosphate insecticide, after experts examined samples of oil from the container, food remains on the platter and remains of food items in the utensils.

In Patna angry NSUI members held protests infront of Education Minister P K Shahi's residence, demanding his resignation.

Meanwhile, the state government terminated the services of Block Education Extension Officer Satyendra Kumar Singh, who was responsible for monitoring the midday meal scheme at Dharmasati Gandaman primary school in Chhapra. (ANI)

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