Orissa rights panel seeks report on pulses scam

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

BHUBANESWAR - The Orissa Human Rights Commission Tuesday sought a report from the secretary of the state’s women and child development department on the alleged supply of low grade pulses for children’s mid-day meals scheme in the state.

Commission chairman Justice R.K. Patra said the government has been asked to submit a report on the matter within the next 10 days.

“The panel has also asked the government to immediately replace the infected pulses, if they are in circulation,” Patra told reporters.

The alleged scam came to light after the vigilance department last month claimed that there were irregularities in the purchase of pulses meant for children and women in the state under various welfare schemes.

Women and Child Development Minister Pramila Mallik resigned Feb 5 and at least three senior government officers face action over the scandal.

The government has also ordered criminal proceedings against those who supplied the low quality pulses.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Feb 10 moved the state human rights panel, seeking health check-up of all children and women who consumed the infected pulses.

The issue has also cast its shadow on the budget session of the state assembly, which began Monday, with the opposition disrupting the proceedings of the house and seeking resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

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