Officials suspect it is a case of food poisoning. (Representational)
As many as 18 students of a government school in Punjab's Sangrur district were rushed to a hospital as they complained of stomach ache and vomiting after having a meal in the hostel mess, officials said on Saturday.
Education Minister Harjot Singh Bains said the food contractor has been arrested and an inquiry by the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) has been ordered in the matter.
Eighteen school students of the government meritorious school at Ghabdan were rushed to the civil hospital on Friday evening after they complained of stomach ache and vomiting, an official said.
Officials suspect it is a case of food poisoning.
Sangrur Deputy Commissioner Jitendra Jorwal on Saturday said 18 students were brought to the civil hospital, of which 14 have been discharged.
"Four still remain admitted," Jorwal said while speaking to reporters in Sangrur.
He further said 36 more students were brought to the civil hospital on Saturday and all of them were stable. They did not report any loose motion or vomiting at the hospital, but they had complained of vomiting symptoms before bring brought here.
The DC said an inquiry committee under the chairmanship of the SDM has been formed to probe the matter. A tehsildar and a civil surgeon will also be part of the committee, he said, adding that it would submit its report within a week.
He said food samples have been collected from the school, adding that stool and blood samples of the affected students have also been obtained.
Students told reporters that they had earlier complained about the food quality to the school authorities.
Some angry parents who reached the school after they learnt about the incident slammed the school authorities over their wards falling sick.
Minister Bains, in a video message, said that he learned about the incident from the Sangrur deputy commissioner.
He said a medical team has also been stationed at the school premises.
He further said the food contractor of the school has been arrested and his contract has been cancelled.
An inquiry by the SDM-level officer has been marked into the incident, Bains added in the video message.
The minister said that a joint team of education and health departments have been deputed to collect food samples in nine other government meritorious schools in the state as a precautionary measure.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)