Assam Human Rights Commission orders probe on Barpeta ‘food poisoning’

GUWAHATI: The Assam Human Rights Commission (AHRC) on Friday ordered the Barpeta district administration to conduct a magisterial inquiryinto 71 students falling sick after consuming midday meal at a primary school earlier this month.

On April 7, students of Hanhsora LP School in Barpeta district developed fever, severe stomach ache and loose motions after eating food provided by school authorities under the midday meal scheme. Though the condition of none of the students is serious, medical tests reportedly confirmed food poisoning. Many students had to be admitted to Barpeta Medical College Hospital too.


Acting on media reports, a single bench comprising AHRC member Naba Kamal Bora directed the deputy commissioner of Barpeta to conduct a magisterial inquiry and find out what caused the illness. “The commission orders the district authority to submit the report of the magisterial probe within one month,” said the AHRC directive.


Taking up a separate incident in which one person died and several houses were gutted in a fire that broke out due to alleged negligence of Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB) in the Chaygaon area of Kamrup district last week, the AHRC directed the state government to probe into the matter and submit the report within 30 days.


An AHRC order said, “On April 11, a high-tension wire reportedly snapped and fell on a 2200-volt line below it in the Chaygaon area. As a result, fire broke out and damaged some 20 houses of the locality. One Abdur Rahim, seeing the fire, attempted to disconnect his domestic line. However, this resulted in his death. The incident was attributed to negligence on the part of the ASEB for not taking appropriate safety measures while installing and maintaining such wires.” 


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