Protest March against Sugouli Boiler Blast Incident

BIHAR Rajya Vidyalaya Rasoiya Sangh, AICCTU, AIPWA and CPIML organized a protest march in Patna on 19 November 2019 against the Nitish-BJP government on the issue of the Sugouli boiler blast incident. 4 Mid-day Meal workers had died in Sugauli of East Champaran when a boiler, being used in mid-day meal preparation, exploded. The march started from Buddha Smriti Park, Patna Junction and culminated in a meeting at the Midday Meal Scheme Head Office. A 4-member delegation comprising Rasoiya Sangh General Secretary Saroj Chaube, AICCTU State General Secretary RN Thakur, ASHA Sangh President Shashi Yadav and AICCTU State Secretary Ranvijay Kumar met the MDM Director and submitted a memorandum with demands.

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Another protest was held in Arwal where a mass meeting was also held at the Block office. The protesters demanded resignation of Chief Minister for failing to implement due procedure for providing midday meal to school kids, immediate arrest of Narendra Singh who runs the NGO that used boilers in midday meal preparations, and minimum Rs. 10 lakhs as compensation to the families of the deceased as well as government jobs for one person from each affected family. AIPWA leader Anita Sinha told that the food was being prepared in residential premises of BJP leader Ram Gopal Khandelwal when the accident took place. This must be treated as case of homicide and the said BJP leader and the person who runs the NGO both should be arrested under murder charges. The protest in Arwal was addressed by Lila Varma, Chandra Prabha Devi, Malti Devi, Gunjan Devi, midday meal workers Kunti Devi, Pyari Devi, Fulwanti Devi, Lalmuni Devi and ASHA leader Kanti.

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The protesters in Patna held a discussion with the Director and also asked him to fulfill the demands to reveal the correct number of those killed in the blast; proper and adequate treatment for the injured; to keep NGOs fully out of the MDM Scheme; arrangements should made by MDM for modern centralized kitchens as required; and to pay Rasoiyas all arrears including strike period wages.

Protests were also held by Midday Meal Workers’ Union in Jehanabad and other cities of Bihar.

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