AAP MLA’s father-in-law is in NGO that served midday meal

A DAY after nine students of a government school were hospitalised after consuming midday meals in which dead rats were allegedly found, police told The Indian Express that the director of the NGO, which cooked and supplied the food to the school, is an AAP MLA’s father-in-law. Kunwar Pal Singh, director of Jan Chetna Jagriti & Shaikshanik Vikas, is the father-in-law of AAP’s Ambedkar Nagar MLA Ajay Dutt, police said. Asked about his relation to Dutt, Singh told The Indian Express, “Kisi ka rishtedaar hona gunaah toh nahi hai. Haan mein hun unka father-in-law (It’s not a crime to be someone’s relative. Yes, I’m his father-in-law).” Singh has been named in the FIR filed after the case came to light, police said.

Despite repeated calls, Dutt was unavailable for comment. AAP’s Delhi convenor Dilip Pandey said, “I am not aware of the relation between the two but even if it is the case, the guilty won’t be spared.” DCP (southeast) Romil Baaniya said the role of those named in the FIR would be verified. “We have lodged a case under relevant IPC sections and started a probe. The role of every person involved in the matter will be verified,” said Baaniya.

On Thursday, nine students of the Government Boys Senior Secondary School in Deoli fell ill and had to be rushed to Madan Mohan Malviya Hospital after consuming the meal. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, also the education minister, visited the students and said a committee will submit its report soon. Directorate of Education officials said the supplier has been blacklisted by the government.

“We filed an FIR yesterday. The children are recovering. Today, the kitchen was taken over by our own officers because we cannot stop serving food. We can’t hire any other vendor because no one has the capacity to cater to thousands of children at such short notice,” an officer said. Meanwhile, the Opposition targeted the AAP government. Ramesh Bidhuri, the BJP MP from South Delhi, protested outside the Chief Minister’s residence. He alleged that Sisodia tried to “suppress the incident” and also asked why the children were taken to a government hospital 8 km away instead of Batra Hospital, which is less than a kilometre away.

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