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Indian-origin boy in UK dies of allergy after cheese forced on him

Thursday, July 13, 2017
By Aditi Khanna

London: A 13-year-old Indian-origin boy with a dairy allergy died here in the UK after suffering a severe reaction to a piece of cheese allegedly forced on him by a schoolmate, prompting the Scotland Yard to launch a probe.

Karanbir Cheema died on Sunday after suffering a severe reaction to a piece of cheese allegedly forced upon him at school last month during a school break. Another 13-year-old boy, a school-mate of Cheema, was arrested and questioned over the death which is being treated as a criminal matter.

"The boy, aged 13, was taken to a west London hospital in a life-threatening condition. Police were subsequently called when it became apparent that an incident had occurred which led to the boy coming into contact with the allergen. Those events remain under investigation," Metropolitan Police said in a statement this week.

"A 13-year-old boy, a pupil at the same school, was arrested on June 28 and interviewed in connection with the incident - he has been bailed to return on a date in late July pending further enquiries.

"The incident was initially investigated by officers from Ealing Borough but has since been passed to the Homicide and Major Crime Command," the Met Police statement added.

Karanbir, known as Karan, was allergic to wheat, gluten and dairy, eggs, and nuts and his condition was well-known at school.

On June 28, he went to the school office to inform them of a reaction to some cheese and staff gave him medication kept specially for him but his condition quickly worsened and he was rushed to hospital. Doctors at Great Ormond Street hospital in London struggled to save his life but he died on Sunday.

His parents, who were by his bedside, are now demanding answers from the William Perkin High Church of England High School in Greenford and questioning exactly what caused their son's sudden death.

"I want answers, I want to get to the bottom of what happened. I will be asking the school if he was bullied but my son was very popular, you could not help but like that child, he never made enemies," said his mother Rina, who described Karan as an "angel" and a "selfless boy".

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