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Santosh Mishra for Mumbai Mirror

  • Over 60 school children of Union High School in Khetwadi fell ill after eating sweets distributed by Shiv Sainiks to mark their leader Uddhav Thackeray’s 46th birthday

Mumbai, Jul 28: More than 60 children of Union High School in Khetwadi in south Mumbai fell ill on Thursday July 27, after eating biscuits and chocolates distributed by Shiv Sainiks to mark Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray’s 46th birthday.

The children, in the 4-12 age group, were rushed to nearby Harkisondas Hospital and are ‘out of danger’, but parents are asking why the principal ‘allowed political people to distribute outside eatables in the school premises’.

B’day Celebrations

Ramakant Tawde and other activists of the Shiv Sena’s Shakha No 19 (unit no 19) situated in Khetwadi had organised a ceremony to celebrate Uddhav Thackeray’s birthday. They had also bought biscuits and chocolates from Diamond Store, located at 12 Imam Road near J J Marg, to distribute among students of the Union High School.

After eating it, over 60 children complained of uneasiness and had to be admitted to the nearby Harkisandas Hospital for treatment.

Out of danger

Dr P M Bhujang, medical director, Harkisondas Hospital, said, “The children are out of danger. They are under observation, which will continue till they recover fully.”

Mayor Dutta Dalvi, who is from the Shiv Sena, promised to bear the medical expenses and requested his party workers to wait in the hospital premises till every child is discharged.

Vibhag pramukh (area chief) Arun Dudhwadkar said, “It was an accident. Our priority is to treat the victims first, then we will find out who is responsible.”

Senior Sena leader Vilas Awchat said, “This is an accident. Please don’t make it a political issue.”

Soon after Awchat’s request, local Congress MLA Bhai Jagtap said, “This accident should be treated as an accident and not be blown up into a big issue.” He met the victims and their families.

Parents question principal

The victims’ families turned their ire on the school’s principal and aggressively demanded his resignation. Cops from the D B Marg police station had to intervene and disperse them.

Four-year-old Sahil’s father Mohammed Ayub said, “How can the school allow political people to distribute outside eatables in the school premises?”

Angry parents outside Harkisondas Hospital with a child holding up the wrapper that the sweets came in

Another parent Shabana Sheikh questioned why Shiv Sainiks need to distribute biscuits to kids. “Are they trying to do public relations at our children’s expense?”

A case was registered at the V P Road police station. Senior inspector B K Chikhale said, “We have arrested the owner of Diamond Store, Gaffar Patel, and shakha pramukh (unit chief) Ramakant Tawde. We are investigating how the food poisoning occurred.”


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