R Lakshmanan, director of the state mid day meal, said the school in Gandaman village would be merged with the nearest middle school having a better mid day meal infrastructure.

"There is no trace of her. The administration has decided to attach her property to put pressure on her to come forward," Saran Superintendent of Police Sujit Kumar said. According to district officials probing the incident, Meena Devi had forced the cook to use the oil despite the latter's complaint that it had a pungent smell.

Lakshmanan said that government had taken a policy decision not to run schools from rented and dilapidated structures and equip new units with full-fledged kitchens. The official said the decision to shift the school was taken after angry villagers had declared they would not allow it to run there.

"Moreover, after parents buried their children near the school, the administration was forced into relocating it," he said.

(Agencies)

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