Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Nabrangpur, July 6:
In a shocking incident six students of Asish Bhawan Project Upper Primary School in the district headquarters town of Nabarangpur in Odisha were admitted to the district headquarters hospital here on Saturday when they were taken ill after consuming the curry served in their mid day meal, which was allegedly poisoned.
While its being alleged that a lady teacher had mixed poison in the curry to be served during the mid day meal on Saturday, the concerned lady teacher has strongly refuted the charge saying that she has been trapped.
Reports said the incident is fallout of the bickering between the headmistress and a teacher of the school. Both have been suspended following the incident.
Those admitted to the district headquarters hospital are Zarina Harijan, Priyanka Harijan and Rajendra Harijan ( all students of standard II), Manisha Harijan of standard I, Pabitra Suna of standard VIII and Sipun Harijan of standard VI.
While the condition of two students Sipun Harijan and Pabitra Harijan are stated to be serious, the condition of others is relatively better, reports said.
Reports said, while mid day meal was being served to 140 students in the school premises on Saturday, an assistant lady teacher Sanjeebani Karkara allegedly mixed something which looked like rice flakes (liya in Odia) to the curry using a ladle and herself served it to some students. The school’s cook reported the matter to the headmistress Soubhagini Nayak , who immediately asked the staff to stop serving meals to students and enquired from Sanjeebani what she had mixed in the curry.
The cook and headmistress Soubhagini Nayak later said during an enquiry that following the incident they had dumped the entire cooked stuff in a drain adjacent to the school.
As news spread guardians of students gathered in the school premises demanding an end to the dispute over the post of headmistress and sought transfer of all teachers from the school.
Following information, the Nabarangpur collector Mohammed Sadiq Alam asked local tehsildar Dr Gunanidhi Nayak to visit the school and submit a report. Tehsildar Dr Nayak has recorded the statements of the headmistress Soubhagini Nayak, assistant lady teacher Sanjeebani Karkara and cook Surekha Das in the matter.
District Education Officer (DEO) Ranjan Kumar Giri and District Project Coordinator (DPC), OPEPA Ramchandra Nahak have immediately suspended headmistress Soubhagini Nayak and assistant lady teacher of the school Sanjeebani Karkara in the matter.
“Both headmistress Soubhagini Nayak and assistant lady teacher Sanjeebani Karkara have been suspended with immediate effect” , said Ramchandra Nahak, District Project Coordinator (DPC), OPEPA.
Nahak added that action will be taken against the guilty after investigations by the police is over.
While headmistress Soubhagini Nayak has complained that assistant teacher Sanjeebani Karkara has been harassing her ever since she joined the school, the assistant teacher Sanjeebani on the other hand has said this was a conspiracy against her and she knew nothing about the charges brought against her.
Assistant teacher Sanjeebani has demanded for a lab test of the so-called poisoned food. She said she was never interested for the post of headmistress and was taking good care of the mid day meal duty assigned to her.