Police arrest school principal in Bihar mid-day meal poisoning case

NEW DELHI Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:48pm IST

A school girl holds a container to receive her free mid-day meal, distributed by a government-run primary school, at Brahimpur village in Chapra district of Bihar July 19, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

A school girl holds a container to receive her free mid-day meal, distributed by a government-run primary school, at Brahimpur village in Chapra district of Bihar July 19, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Adnan Abidi

Related Topics

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Police on Wednesday arrested the headmistress of the school in Bihar where 23 children died after eating a meal laced with pesticide in one of India's deadliest food poisoning outbreaks in years.

The woman, who had been missing for more than a week, was detained while on her way to court to surrender, said Sujit Kumar, superintendent of police in Saran district in Bihar.

The children fell ill within minutes of eating a meal of rice and soybean-potato curry in their one-room school on July 16, vomiting and convulsing with stomach cramps. Many died, some on the floor of a hospital where they went for treatment, within hours of consuming the food.

Forensic tests showed the meal was contaminated with monocrotophos, a lethal pesticide banned in many countries. Police have said the headmistress is key to solving the mystery of how the pesticide ended up in the food.

Police have been searching for the woman since she fled the district where the school is located. Kumar said she had been hiding in the district.

The free school lunch was part of the mid-day meal scheme that covers 120 million children and aims to fight malnutrition and encourage school attendance. The programme had already drawn widespread complaints over food safety.

(Reporting by Mayank Bhardwaj and Ross Colvin; Writing by Sanjeev Miglani; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

RBI Policy Review

RBI Policy Review

RBI keeps rates on hold, warns on inflation  Full Article 

China iPhone Sale

China iPhone Sale

China regulator approves Apple's iPhone 6 for sale in China  Full Article 

Cleanliness Drive

Cleanliness Drive

Modi orders officials to clean loos on Gandhi's birthday.  Full Article 

Bid to Boost Trading

Bid to Boost Trading

RBI takes small steps to deepen markets.  Full Article 

Car Recall

Car Recall

Maruti Suzuki says to recall 69,555 cars.  Full Article 

China Factory Data

China Factory Data

China final HSBC PMI steady in September on stronger global demand but risks remain  Full Article 

Oil Demand

Oil Demand

India's thirst for oil grows even as China cuts back  Video 

EBay Divests PayPal

EBay Divests PayPal

EBay to spinoff PayPal in 2015  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage