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Narendra Modi expresses concern over Chhapra mid-day meal disaster

Patna, July 17 (ANI): Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his concern over the Chhapra mid-day meal disaster, and asked the Bharatiya Janata Party workers in Bihar to ensure that all kind of assistance is given to the victims.

BJP General Secretary Rajiv Pratap Rudy, who visited the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) here today, said that he had a conversation with Modi over this incident when he was in Chhapra last night.

“Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of Gujarat, has expressed his condolence. He has said that he was pained to see what was happening. He was concerned that so many children have died and they are all toddlers, less than eight years of age. He has asked the political workers of the BJP to see that whatever could be done is done,” said Rudy.

“The Bharatiya Janata Party has called for a bandh of Chhapra. There is complete bandh, there is anger against the government,” he added.

Rudy said Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will have to do lot of answering after this incident.

“The reported deaths in Chhapra till yesterday night when we were there was 17, now it has come up to 23 and there are still many more children who are critical. The most unfortunate part is that the Chief Minister of Bihar, even without knowing the final figure how many people have died and people are still dying, has announced an ex-gratia payment. He is not concerned about saving the lives of these children,” said Rudy.

“Now, what they are doing is trying to position blame that it was poison. But the very fact that the Chief Minister has not yet found time to visit Chhapra or for that matter PMCH in Patna. It reflects the attitude of the government and the Chief Minister. It’s most unfortunate and the Bharatiya Janata Party feels it is more of a lip service,” he added.

23 children have died 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 they consumed 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.

The Bihar Chief Minister 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.

Nitish 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)

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