"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.