CBI sleuths on Monday questioned Junagadh BJP MLA Mahendra Mashru in connection with the case of 23 thalassemic children contracting HIV infection allegedly during blood transfusion at the civil hospital in his constituency last year.
Sources in the CBI said Mashru was asked more than two dozen questions pertaining to the activities of his Sarvodaya Blood Bank Dawafund Trust that has been functioning since 1969 but was registered with the Junagadh district charity commissioner office in 1982.
When contacted,Mashru confirmed that he was questioned by the CBI.
He denied the allegations of the parents that his trust was involved in transfusion of blood that led to HIV infection to the children,saying his trust was not running any blood bank in the premises of the government hospital.
Explaining activities of his trust,Mashru said it motivated people to donate blood for the needy through the district government hospitals blood bank.
According to him,the workers of his trust used to move around in the lobby of the hospital to know the blood requirement of patients. Whenever they came to know that a patient required blood transfusion and he/she had no relative to donate the blood,his trust workers would arrange for blood by bringing some donor to the hospital-run blood bank.
But we dont have any blood bank in real sense of the word, he told The Indian Express.
Asked how did children get HIV infection,he said it was really a matter of concern.
Since our trust arranges donors only,we cant say if the children got infection from the blood of our donors or some other donors of the government blood bank, he added.
His trust annually brings nearly 4,000 donors to the blood bank for donation.
Asked why did he name his trust as blood bank,he said that in the 1970s,he and his friends used to donate blood for the needy patients. We were nicknamed as blood bank by locals. So we added phrase blood bank in the title of the trust, Mashru said.
Hospital superintendent G T Dayalu,when questioned if he was also quizzed by the CBI,said,I dont want to comment on the issue.