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Updated: July 26, 2013 04:14 IST
midday meal poisoning

Chapra school HM to undergo polygraph

Rahi Gaikwad
Comment (3)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Meena Devi, Principal of the Dharmasati Primary School where 23 children died after eating a midday meal, surrenders in Saran on Wednesday. PTI Photo
PTI Meena Devi, Principal of the Dharmasati Primary School where 23 children died after eating a midday meal, surrenders in Saran on Wednesday. PTI Photo

"The million-dollar question: where did poison come from and who mixed it in food?"

A court here on Thursday allowed the prosecution plea to conduct a polygraph test on Meena Devi, headmistress of the Dharmasati Gandaman primary school and main accused in the mid-day meal deaths case.

In closed-door proceedings, chief judicial magistrate A.K. Jha also remanded her in judicial custody for 15 days, the prosecution said.

Meena Devi faces serious charges of murder, attempt to murder, causing hurt by means of poison and criminal conspiracy. Investigators also suspect the involvement of her husband Arjun Rai as he visited the school on July 16, when 22 children died after eating mid-day meal.

“We have interrogated her for nearly 13 hours. In her statement, she stated certain facts which need verification. The interrogation pertained to the routine on the day of the tragedy — when the children came to school and when food was prepared and served,” Sujeet Kumar, Superintendent of Police, Saran, and head of the special investigation team, told reporters earlier in the day.

Meena Devi pleaded innocence but did not raise suspicions against anyone, the SP said. While she told investigators that her husband ran a shopping complex but the family had no connection with the shops located there, sources said earlier that Arjun Rai used to arrange for provisions for mid-day meal in the school. “Where the poison came from and who mixed it in food is still the million-dollar question,” said Mr. Kumar.

The Chapra town police station and the district court turned into a fortress on Thursday. In view of the anger over the incident, heavy security was deployed at both places.

Although, the Headmistress is accountable for the criminal negligence of duty, it is time to look for solutions that can be implementable across schools. some suggestions can be1) Involvement of parents, schools administration and district food regulations authorities to check for quality of food being given.2) Involvement of parents. Atleast One or two parents should be able to attend and check the meal everyday. since their stakes are high, they will immediately react of any trouble.3) government should develop or procure instruments that can test food for various harmful chemicals like pesticides.4) the results of the tests should be uploaded online for monitoring and information.

from:  Arun
Posted on: Jul 25, 2013 at 14:03 IST

No doubt about the head mistress negligence which led to the death of innocent lives. Investigators must have got the information on the reasons behind that horrific incident. As a head of the school she failed to perform her duty and displayed dereliction and delinquency in job. Though the circumstances in which the poison was mixed,where it came from and who contaminated the food is yet to be known, the prima face evidence raise serious apprehensions on the school administration. Though the lives of the innocent kids cant be brought back but no stone must be unturned to bring the culprits to book so that a strong message is sent and the departed souls rest in peace.

from:  neeraj
Posted on: Jul 25, 2013 at 13:11 IST

Indias Judicial System must change. Judgment should come within 1 year. Lawyer should not inform the opposition lawyer, who they are going to bring today in the witness box. Witness box must witness surprising witnesses. By this oppositions cannot bribe or threaten the witnesses. Cross check same time, same day and not another day to bribe or threaten the witnesses.

from:  Aam Aadmi
Posted on: Jul 25, 2013 at 13:09 IST
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