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Fake Remdesivir Sale: Director of Pvt Hospital Among Four Against Whom Cops Invoke NSA in MP

Representational image of Remdesivir.

Representational image of Remdesivir.

Under the NSA, one can be detained without a charge for up to 12 months if the authorities are satisfied the person is a threat to national security.

The stringent National Security Act (NSA) was invoked against four persons, including a director of a private hospital in Jabalpur arrested on Tuesday, in separate cases related to Remdesivir, a COVID-19 drug that is in high demand during the pandemic, police said. The cases relate to sale of fake Remdesivir injections and black-marketing of the anti-viral drug in Jabalpur district of Madhya Pradesh.

The Jabalpur police on Tuesday started the legal process under the NSA against Sarabjeet Singh Mokha, director of a private hospital here, and an employee of his facility in the fake Remdesivir injection case, additional superintendent of police (ASP) Rohti Keshwani said. Under the NSA, one can be detained without a charge for up to 12 months if the authorities are satisfied that the person is a threat to national security or law and order.

Keshwani is heading a special investigation team constituted to probe into the matter, which came to light last week. Mokha was arrested on Tuesday, while Devesh Chourasia, the hospital employee, was nabbed earlier, he said.

During investigation, it was revealed that about 500 fake Remdesivir injections were procured from Indore and sent to Jabalpur by road, he said. On Monday, an FIR was registered against Mokha, Chourasia, medicine supplier Sapan Jain and an unidentified person in connection with selling of fake Remdesivir vials in Jabalpur, the police said.

Jain was arrested by the Gujarat police on May 7 for allegedly being part of an inter-state gang that supplied at least 1,200 spurious Remdesivir injections, which contained glucose water and salt, in Madhya Pradesh in the last one month. The racket was busted in Surat. Meanwhile, the Jabalpur district administration invoked NSA against two persons, Shahnawaz Khan (30) and Vivek Singh (27), for illegally selling Remdesivir, an official press release said.

The duo was arrested on May 6 by the police for selling two injections of the anti-viral drug, each for Rs 25,000 against their actual cost of Rs 3,000 to 4,000, in the black-market, the release said. Khan works in a private hospital, it said.

Before their arrest, the duo had sold six injections in the black-market, the release said. Meanwhile, in Indore, police arrested a pharma trader on Tuesday for illegal sale and purchase of fake Remdesivir injections made from salt and glucose.

According to the police, these injections were made by an inter-state gang operating from Gujarat and they were allegedly administered to three patients in Indore following which they died. Cops have arrested Ashish Thakur, a pharma trader operating from the local Dawa Bazaar. He had procured 100 fake Remdesivir injections from one Sunil Mishra, who is associated with the inter-state gang, Superintendent of Police (SP-East) Ashutosh Bagri said.

Bagri said Sunil Mishra, an Indore resident, has been already arrested by the Gujarat police for selling at least 1,200 fake Remdesivir injections in Madhya Pradesh. Meanwhile, Indore range Inspector General (IG) Harinarayanchari Mishra said three middlemen associated with sale of fake Remdesivir injections were taken into custody.

We are trying to find out as to whom they had sold these fake Remdesivir injections, the IG said.

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first published:May 11, 2021, 23:35 IST