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School principal arrested on murder and conspiracy charges of 23 dead children

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The search is over for the principal / headmistress of the school in India where 23 children died last week after eating school lunches tainted with deadly levels of pesticide. The principal disappeared soon after the children began falling ill, but was finally arrested on July 24.

Meena Kumari, 35, headmistress of that school in the Bihar state of India, and the primary school official in charge of the food served to the children, is now being questioned by police as to how toxic levels of pesticide got mixed in with the school children’s lunches, according to CBS News.

Meena Devi is being charged with murder and criminal conspiracy, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Fox News quoted Ravindra Kumar, one of the director generals of police in the city of Patna, as saying that the food contained the “pesticide monocrotophos in levels that were ‘very toxic’ for humans.”

The free midday meal was served to the children Tuesday in Gandamal village in Masrakh block, 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Patna, the Bihar state capital.

Twenty-three children between the ages of 5 and 12 died from eating the meal and many others fell ill.

The students from the school:

… started vomiting Tuesday soon after their first bite of rice and potatoes at the school in the northern state of Bihar. Some fainted.

The children began dying within hours of eating their poisoned school lunches.

Principal Meena Kumari has been in hiding ever since the tragic deaths occurred at the school on July 16.

In addition to the 23 dead, at least 26 more children were sick enough to be rushed to the hospital.

Bihar's education minister, P.K. Sahi, has said the principal bought the ingredients for the meal from a shop owned by her husband, who has fled.

The chief minister for Bihar today stated that the Indian government “would punish all those who were responsible for the tragedy.”

For more on the arrest of Meena Kumari, see the video accompanying this article.

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