Bandh turns violent as death toll in mid-day meal case in Bihar rises to 22

TragedySchoolchildren receive treatment at a hospital after falling ill. (AP photo)

Three police vehicles were damaged by agitators during bandh call in Saran district today over the death of 22 children due to eating poisonous mid-day meal in a government school, police said.

In pics: Children undergo treatment

Three police vehicles and one belonging to the circle officer were damaged by protesters in Mashrakh block, where the school is located, Saran Superintendent of Police Sujit Kumar said. Related: Mid-day meal rice fails quality test in Punjab

In the district headquarters at Chapra the protesters targeted a police bus used for carrying prisoners and broke its glasses. They also damaged one police checkpost, official sources said.

The day-long Saran bandh call has been given separately by three parties - RJD, BJP and LJP.

Markets closed in protest

The bandh has evoked good response with all markets closed and vehicular traffic almost nil in Chapra town, reports said.

Though schools, colleges, banks and government offices are open, thin attendance was recorded in all the institutions.

Policemen wielded lathis at some places in Chapra to quell stone pelting protesters, the sources said.

Workers of the three parties are moving around in Chapra and other parts of the district to impose bandh.

RJD protesters are being led by newly elected MP from Maharajganj, Prabhunath Singh. Chapra is the Lok Sabha constituency of party president Lalu Prasad.

Prasad had visited the ailing children admitted at PMCH in the state capital.

Opposition leaders visit hospital

Leader of Opposition in Bihar Assembly Nand Kishore Yadav, his counterpart in Legislative Council Sushil Kumar Modi and state party President Mangal Pandey also went there to meet the families of the children.

One girl Kanti Kumari, a student of class IV who is admitted to the paediatric ward of PMCH, recalled that when students complained that the food tasted bad, the school head mistress Meena Devi rebuked them and asked to finish the meal.

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