Jharkhand schoolchildren died of food poisoning: probe report

November 20th, 2008 - 5:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Ranchi, Nov 20 (IANS) The death of five children at a state-run school for tribal students near here last week was due to food poisoning, a preliminary investigation has found. “The preliminary report says that the milk the students were forced to drink was in pure form till 11 a.m. However, in the afternoon, the children complained the milk was smelling foul and yet they were forced to drink it,” a Jharkhand welfare department official told IANS Thursday quoting the report.

A three-member committee constituted by the welfare department submitted the report to Tribal Welfare Commissioner Sunil Kumar Burnawal.

Five students of the Adivasi Residential School at Baridih in Bero block, about 40 km from here, died and more than 60 children fell ill after drinking the milk Nov 13.

The school is run by the welfare department to provide free education and food to tribal students.

According to parents of some of the students, the children had refused to drink the foul-smelling milk but their hostel superintendent Yogeshwar Sahu had forced them to drink it.

The Ranchi police are also investigating the incident and have collected the viscera of the victims to confirm the exact reason of the death.

The police are also investigating a suggestion that the poisoning was deliberate, though the poison is yet to be identified.

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