Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Tariq Anwar on Wednesday demanded an in-depth investigation into the Chhapra mid-day meal poisoning case, and said precautions should be taken to ensure that such incidents do not occur again.
"It is a very unfortunate incident. And, I believe that the Bihar Government must launch an in-depth investigation into it because such complaints have come up earlier as well from different states that the mid-day meals given to children often leads to the children falling sick and suffering from food poisoning. We need to take precautions against this and look into the whole system," he told the media here.
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) General Secretary Rajiv Pratap Rudy blamed the Nitish Kumar Government for this tragedy.
"I feel that the government completely failed vis-a-vis the evacuation of the affected children. When the state government was informed that these children were ill, the government ought to have worked on evacuating the children for better treatment. I would like to remind the Chief Minister that he should have first evacuated the children to Patna 80 kilometres away," said Rudy.
"Every possible system of the government and machinery could have been used in deployment of vehicles. Then they could have reached Patna in just an hour or one-and-half hours, but the government first decided to declare the compensation and rushed on this issue but failed in saving the children's lives," he added, while interacting with the media in Patna.
According to reports, 22 children are now dead after eating a free mid-day meal at their school in Bihar's Chhapra district.
More than 30 others are undergoing treatment at the Patna Medical College and Hospital. They were admitted to the hospital after consuming mid-day meals served to them at a government primary school in Dahrmasati village, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Mashrakh Block, about 25 kilometers from Chhapra on Tuesday.
The children are reportedly aged between 8 and 12 years. They fell ill soon after eating the meal which consisted rice, pulses and soybeans.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has ordered a high-level inquiry into the incident.
A forensic team will assist in the probe which will be conducted jointly by Saran Divisional Commissioner and Deputy Inspector General of Police.
Kumar has also announced a compensation of two lakh rupees each to the families of the deceased. The Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has sent a senior official to Chhapra to take stock of the situation. (ANI)