More than 300 female students of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) were rushed to a hospital this morning with symptoms of food poisoning after consuming dinner at their hostel the previous night.
Dr. Haaris Manzoor Khan, the hospital’s chief superintendent, stated, “The girls started coming in early morning, and we have treated about 300 girls. Once they showed improvement, we discharged them. We are constantly monitoring the health of all the girls.” The students affected were residents of the Begum Azeezun Nisa Hall, a women’s hostel with a capacity of accommodating 1,500 students.
As news of the incident spread, district authorities promptly dispatched a team of health officials to the hostel to collect samples of the food stored in the dining area and kitchens. District health officials and food inspectors have gathered these samples for investigation.
By the afternoon, the majority of the affected students had been discharged from the university’s Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College.
In response to the incident, AMU has taken immediate action. An AMU spokesperson told the Press Trust of India that a three-member committee has been established to conduct an inquiry into the matter.
The AMU Teachers’ Association (AMUTA) is also addressing the situation. Office bearers of AMUTA will hold a meeting to discuss the issue, with Secretary Obaid Ahmad Siddique emphasizing the need for a timely investigation. He noted, “The inquiry into this serious matter would only be meaningful if it is time-bound.”
Furthermore, Siddique raised concerns about the handling of tenders for food supplies, suggesting possible irregularities in recent months. He stated, “The ad hoc manner in which tenders for food supplies were being cleared in recent months by university authorities” should be probed. He also alleged that students in other university hostels have previously complained about the quality of food, which, according to him, remained unaddressed.