'Rat curry' sparks Indian student protests

2010-12-08 11:59
Dhaka - Police are investigating the chef at a canteen of a leading university in Bangladesh after a student found a rat's head in a bowl of chicken curry, sparking protests.

The student made the gruesome discovery while eating lunch on Monday and fell sick immediately, the head of security at Rajshahi university in western Bangladesh, Chowdhury Muhammad Zakaria, said.

"We've launched an investigation to find out why rodent meat was served to students," he said on Wednesday, adding that the chef had been fired and handed over to police, and the canteen closed temporarily.

"We don't know if this was an accident or deliberate," he said, adding that the police were investigating.

The incident led to protests by students at the university, the country's second largest with over 25 000 students, who were already demonstrating about a recent hike in the price of meals at the canteen.

Rats are common in Bangladesh and are responsible for widespread damage to crops every year.

A recent report by Dhaka University's nutrition department found the quality of food served at dining halls in public universities across the country was of poor quality and often prepared in unhygienic conditions.

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