Patna, July 21 (IANS) The Bihar government Sunday suspended from service an education department official responsible for monitoring the mid-day meal of a school in Saran district where 23 children died after eating contaminated food July 16, officials said.
House of Meena Devi, the headmistress of the school at Gandaman village who has been untraceable and on the run since the incident, was again raided and an empty bottle of pesticide was seized, police said.
Block education extension officer Satyendra Kumar Singh was placed under suspension for alleged lapses in monitoring the mid-day meal scheme at the school.
Amarjeet Sinha, principal secretary, education, confirmed the action against Satyendra Kumar Singh.
"A decision was taken to suspend him on the basis of a report of the two-member high-level committee comprising divisional commissioner of Saran and deputy inspector general of police that found him guilty of negligence of duty," said Sinha.
School principal Meena Devi also has been suspended from service for gross negligence.
According to district officials, a first information report has been registered against her on penal charges of murder and criminal conspiracy.
During a raid on the house of Meena Devi in Gandaman village, an empty bottle of pesticide was seized, police said.
On Saturday, a Forensic Science Laboratory report confirmed presence of toxic insecticide strains in the cooking oil used for making food at the school.
The poisonous substance, organophosphorus, in oil samples collected from school was more than five times the commercial preparation available in market, police said.
Additional Director General of Police (Headquarters) Ravinder Kumar said it was a matter of investigation that how and from where this poisonous substance got mixed in the cooking oil.
The post-mortem examination of the children confirmed presence of a poisonous substance in the potato-soyabean curry served to them.