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Mid-day meal deaths: Principal declared proclaimed offender

July 24, 2013 14:53 IST

A local court in Bihar's Saran district declared Meena Devi, the principal of the government primary school where 23 students died of food poisoning, a proclaimed offender in the mid-day meal case.  

The court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate Narendra Mohan Jha also declared her a fugitive after the police informed the court that she might have fled Bihar. "Police in its petition stated that there was credible information that Meena Devi had fled the state after the incident," police officials said.

The police have published a written proclamation requiring her to appear before the court. "It will put pressure on her to appear in court or surrender to the police. If she fails to so do her property could be attached by the court," police officials said.

According to a police petition in the court, Meena Devi has been absconding from the day of the incident. The Special Investigation Team was formed to trace the accused. The police had raided several places to arrest her. An arrest warrant was obtained from the court on July 22.

A government inquiry report has blamed her for the deaths of the children.

The state government has suspended her from service for gross negligence.

According to district officials, an FIR has been registered against her on penal charges of murder and criminal conspiracy.

M I Khan in Patna