India: Jharkhand parents protest food poisoning deaths of children


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Friday, November 14, 2008

Ranchi (IANS): A day after five students died of food poisoning at a residential school in Baridih, more than one thousand villagers Friday protested the deaths and raised slogans against the Jharkhand government.

The villagers, including the parents of school children, blocked the Ranchi Bero road in protest.

Students of Adivasi Residential School fell ill Thursday evening after taking snacks and drinking milk. The doctors of Rajendra Institute of Medical Science (RIMS), where the students have been admitted, suspect that adulterated milk caused food poisoning.

Five children were reported dead while the condition of 19 is said to be critical. More than 60 students had fallen sick and about 30 were admitted at the hospital.

The school, situated at Baridih in Bero block, about 40 km from here, is run by the welfare department to ensure free education and food to tribal students.

"I had not imagined I would lose my son this way. The state government is responsible for the death of my son. Free education and food have taken a heavy price,"said a mourning father of a dead student.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren had suspended the school teachers and announced a compensation of Rs.100,000 to the kin of each of those dead.

"This is a crime against humanity. The culprit will not be spared,"said Soren, who is expected to visit the school on Friday.



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