Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh:
More than 300 female students of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) were taken to a hospital this morning with symptoms of food poisoning, authorities said. They started showing symptoms the night before after dinner at their hostel.
By afternoon, almost all of them were discharged from the university’s Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, they said.
“The girls came in early in the morning and we treated around 300 girls. When they showed improvement, we discharged them. We are constantly monitoring the health of all the girls,” said the hospital’s superintendent, Dr. Haaris Manzoor Khan. They were residents of Begum Azeezun Nisa Hall, he added.
AMU’s Begum Azeezun Nisa Hall is a women’s hostel with a capacity of 1,500 students.
As news of the incident spread, district authorities rushed a team of health officials to take samples of food stored in the hostel’s dining hall and kitchens.
District health officials and food inspectors have collected food samples from the hostel, a university official said.
An AMU spokesperson told Press Trust of India that a three-member committee has been set up to investigate the matter.
Office bearers of the AMU Teachers’ Association (AMUTA) will meet on Wednesday evening to discuss the situation.
AMUTA Secretary Obaid Ahmad Siddique told reporters that the “investigation into this serious matter would only be meaningful if it is time-bound”.
The second issue to be investigated is the ad hoc manner in which “the food supply tenders were approved by the university authorities in recent months”, he said.
Mr Siddique claimed that if a high-level investigation is conducted, it is “likely to reveal major irregularities in food material procurement procedures”.
He also alleged that students staying in other hostels of the university had complained about the quality of food in the past few months but such complaints were not addressed.
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