Violent protests after death of 22 school children in India

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Violent protests after death of 22 school children in India

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There have been angry protests in India’s eastern Bihar state after the death of 22 children from a contaminated school meal.

Protesters attacked buses and cars and destroyed a kiosk in the village of Masrakh where the deaths happened.

The children, aged between eight and 12, were taken ill after eating a free school lunch.

They were rushed to the local hospital and later to the state capital for treatment. Dozens, including the school cook, remain in hospital and there are fears the death toll could rise.

Indian officials say there was a large dose of an insecticide – organophosphorous – in the food.

K M Dubey, a doctor at Chapra District Hospital, said: “Organophosphorous is a compound, also used as a pesticide for crops. It is very dangerous. Even a small quantity of it would prove fatal for small children. Looking at the critical condition in which they were brought to the hospital, it seems like there were large quantities of poison in the food that they consumed.”

The authorities have suspended a food inspector and registered a case of criminal negligence against the school headmaster.