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India School Head Arrested in Poisoning Case

Authorities in India have arrested the principal of the elementary school where 23 children died after eating a meal contaminated with lethal pesticides.

Meena Devi was detained Wednesday by police in eastern Bihar state after apparently fleeing with her children and husband following the poisoning last week.

Authorities say she is the key to finding out how such a large quantity of the pesticide were found in the meal that killed the 23 children and left more than two dozen other children injured.

Forensic tests showed cooking oil and utensils were contaminated with the highly toxic pesticide monocrotophos.

The cook who prepared the meals said she alerted Devi about something strange in the oil, but was told to continue using it.

India's school lunch program provides a free daily meal to some 120-million children across the country as part of an effort to increase school attendance and fight malnutrition.

The program is often plagued by complaints of poor food safety.

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