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Head teacher arrested after deadly school food poisoning in India

Head teacher arrested after deadly school food poisoning in India
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Indian police have arrested the headmistress of a school where 23 children died after being poisoned with food laced with pesticide.

Meena Kumari had been missing since the tragedy, which took place in the eastern state of Bihar last week.

Police say she was detained while on her way to court to give herself up.

Children fell ill soon after eating rice and curry provided as part of a national free meal scheme. Many died in hospital within hours.

The poisoning prompted widespread protests over poor hygiene and corruption.

Vegetable oil used to cook the food was found to have traces of monocrotophos, a lethal pesticide banned in many countries.

Reports quoting the state’s education minister say it had been bought from a grocery store run by the head teacher’s husband.

Police have been investigating whether it may have been kept in a container previously used to store pesticide.

The school’s cook has reportedly accused the head teacher of forcing her to use the oil. Reports also say children were made to eat the food against their will.