The Times of India Reports that some unidentified men allegedly mixed rat poison in the water supply of Madrassa Chacha Nehru in Aligarh that houses 4,000 children. The institution, located in the heart of the city, is run by Al Noor Charitable Society which former, vice president, Hamid Ansari’s wife heads. Police have lodged an FIR in the case under IPC sections 328 (causing hurt by means of poison) and 506 (criminal intimidation) and are on the lookout for two unidentified persons. Chairperson of the society, Salma Ansari, told TOI that she was shocked to learn about the incident and asked the madrassa warden to file a police complaint. “Following the incident, we have decided to install CCTV cameras at the 18-year-old charitable institution which has 4,000 students on its rolls,“ she said. Salma Ansari, called the incident “shocking and scary“.

Madarsa Water Cooler
Image: Amar Ujala

Aligarh senior superintendent of police Rajesh Pandey said, “Fortunately , a student spotted the miscreants and alerted the warden. We have collected water samples which will be sent to forensic science laboratory (FSL) for tests on Saturday .“ Giving details of the incident, madras sa warden Junaid Siddiqui said, “One of our students, Mohammad Afzal, who stays in the hostel, went to drink water from a common water tap on Friday evening. He spotted two men mixing some tablets in the tank. When he asked them what they were doing, the other suspect, who was sitting on the madrassa’s fence with a countrymade pistol, threatened him to keep quiet.“

After the duo left, the student picked up the rat poison wrapper left behind by them and alerted the warden. “The water supply area was immediately cordoned off, and students were asked to drink wa ter from other tanks in the premises,“ the warden told TOI. Chief medical officer at Aligarh’s J N Medical College, Dr Ehtisham Ahmad, said that though rat poison can’t prove fatal to human beings until it is mixed with an anticoagulant (substance that prevents or reduces coagulation of blood), it could have made the students sick. “ A lot, however, would depend on the quantity of rat poison mixed in the water,“ he added.