13-year-old Karanbir Cheema dies of allergic reaction to cheese he was forced to eat

Karanbir Cheema, a 13-year-old schoolboy with a dairy allergy died in the UK after suffering a severe reaction to a piece of cheese allegedly forced on him by a schoolmate, prompting Scotland Yard to launch a probe. Cheema, a 13-year-old schoolboy with a dairy allergy died in the UK after suffering a severe reaction to a piece of cheese allegedly forced on him by a schoolmate, prompting Scotland Yard to launch a probe.

He 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 schoolmate of Cheema, was arrested and questioned over the death which is being treated as a criminal matter. Cheema, was arrested and questioned over the death which is being treated as a criminal matter.

Karanbir Cheema.
Karanbir Cheema. Photo Courtesy: swns.co.uk

"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."

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 Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.

William Perkin High Church of England High School in Greenford
William Perkin High Church of England High School in Greenford. Photo Courtesy: geograph.org.uk

His parents 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".

"My son had allergies but he was very careful. He had an allergy to dairy products but was good at avoiding them. He had a very bright future. There are a million things he could have done with his life. He was a bright boy, kind and gentle. We are just devastated," said his father Amarjeet.

The executive head teacher of William Perkin High Church of England High School, Alice Hudson, said staff were fully aware of Karan's allergies and gave him his special medication before paramedics arrived.

"In light of this tragic incident, a review of the procedures will be carried out to ensure that the highest level of standards is maintained," he said.

Author
Tushaar Kuthiala
Tushaar Kuthiala – Senior Writer

Tushaar has five years experience as a journalist in founding two start-up newspapers. He worked as a special correspondent based in New Delhi with Daily World, an international media organisation. He enjoys reading and writing fiction in his spare time.

 

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