Mid-day meal tragedy: Court issues arrest warrant against principal

Patna: A local court in Chapra issued an arrest warrant on Monday against absconding school principal Menna Devi in the mid-day meal tragedy case, district officials said.

“The police have sought an arrest warrant. We will wait for two days and if she still remains untraceable, then her property will be attached,” an official told The Hindu.

The chief judicial magistrate Narendra Mohan Jha issued the warrant against Ms. Meena, who is facing serious charges of murder, attempt to murder, causing hurt by means of poison and criminal conspiracy.

Besides being the main accused in the police FIR, Ms. Meena has been squarely indicted in inquiry report of the two-member panel, which probed the incident. The body found her to be guilty of “gross criminal negligence”.

The principal and the entire family have been absconding since the day of the tragedy fearing a backlash in the village.

Poison in blood

The 25 victims of the tragedy, including one cook, who are at the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) will remain under medical supervision for a few more days as they tested positive for poison.

“The blood report of four patients, randomly selected, have arrived and they indicated high levels of poison. So we decided against discharging the patients since they have tested positive for poison. We will keep them for another three days,” PMCH superintendent Amarkant Jha Azad told The Hindu.

Reports of the viscera examination of some patients, which were sent to Delhi, have not yet arrived, Mr. Azad said.