Students shun school after five killed by contaminated milkNovember 15th, 2008 - 4:26 pm ICT by IANS
Ranchi, Nov 15 (IANS) Students of a government-run school in Jharkhand stayed away on Children’s Day while teachers fled in fear, following the death of five children after drinking contaminated milk.On Thursday evening, five students of the Adivasi Residential School at Baridih in Bero block, about 40 km from here, died and more than 60 fell ill after eating snacks and drinking milk. The angry villagers blocked roads Friday to protest the deaths.
The incident has created panic among the students and most of them were taken away by their parents. “Which parent will sit back when there is a risk to their children’s life? We cannot allow our children to die by eating poisoned food,” said Gopal Oraon, whose son studies in the school.
Echoing his view, another father said: “We admitted our children for education. This kind of incident has shaken our faith on the school administration. We will admit our children in other schools”.
The school has 248 students. Out of them, five died and 66 fell ill after eating snacks and drinking milk provided by the school authorities.
According to parents, students had refused to drink the milk as it had a bad smell but the hostel superintendent Yogeshwar Sahu forced them, drinking some himself in an attempt to convince them. He is also undergoing treatment in the Rajendra Institute of Medical Science (RIMS), Ranchi where 21 other students are also admitted.
All the teachers of the school fled after incident. Meanwhile, a First Information Report (FIR) has been lodged in Bero police station against four people including principal Claymant Tigga and the hostel superintendent in connection with the incident. The Jharkhand welfare department has constituted a team to probe the entire case.
Police have seized samples of the milk for investigation. The viscera of dead students have also been stored for investigation.
The school, run by the welfare department, aims to ensure free education and food to tribal students to improve their educational level. The state government has also announced compensation of Rs.100,000 each to the kin of the deceased students.