Nearly 50 children taken ill after drinking water from a hand pump at a school on Friday in Bihar’s Sitamarhi district, as stated by the officials.

Reports suggest that on Thursday, about 30 children had fallen ill after drinking water from hand pumps at two separate schools of Gopalganj and Saran districts.

A district police officer said that the Friday incident took place at a government school in Runnisaidpur of Sitamarhi.

The children who had fallen sick were admitted to a primary health centre (PHC) in Runnisaidpur and later more than twelve children, those who were critically ill, were furthered shifted to the district hospital for treatment.

The children complained of severe ache in the stomach and had also started vomiting after drinking the water from the hand pump.

Education department officials said, “It appears to be the handiwork of some anti-social elements as the hand pump might have been poisoned”.

As soon as the news spread, hundreds of villagers gathered at the primary health centre where the children had been admitted.

Expressing concern over the incidents, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said: “I am really worried as after the contaminated mid-day meal tragedy, now reports of poison in hand pumps at schools are coming in from various places.”

The state Director General of Police Abhayanand had been directed to initiate a probe into the incidents, added the Chief Minister.

A number of 23 children had to part with their lives on July 16 after the intake of poisoned mid-day meal at the government primary school in Dahrmasati Gandawan village at Mashrakh block of Saran district, nearly 60 km from Patna.

The mid-day meal schemeis currently running in 72,000 schools across the state with a figure of 1.60 crore students availing hot, freshly cooked meals.

It is an alarming situation as more and more cases of contaminated food and water have been coming up, so if the needful is not done now, it might get too late to take any action.

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