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Pesticide trader held in Bihar mid-day meal tragedy

by fwire  Sep 21, 2013 01:15 IST

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Patna, Sep 20 (IANS) The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Bihar Police Friday detained a pesticide trader in connection with the mid-day meal tragedy in a school that claimed 23 lives in July.

Vakil Rai, who runs a pesticide and fertilizers shop in Vishnupur village in Saran district, has been detained for interrogation, police said. The tragedy had occurred July 16 at a government school in the district's Dharmasati Gandaman village.

Rai was detained on the basis of information disclosed by Arjun Rai, another accused in the case and husband of the principal of school where the tragedy occurred, a police officer said.

Arjun Rai, accused of buying pesticide that got mixed with the food, surrendered in a Saran court on Sep 9 and was sent into 14 days judicial custody.

Murder and criminal conspiracy charges have been registered against the school principal, Meena Devi, who was arrested soon after the tragedy.

A forensic lab report confirmed traces of toxic insecticides in the cooking oil used for cooking food at the school, police said.

The mid-day meal at the school, which was suspended immediately after the tragedy, resumed earlier this week.

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