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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Mumbai: Dentist accused in nine ‘bogus’ Covid vaccination drives arrested

Tripathi’s name has cropped up with five others in all the nine bogus drives that were conducted between May 25 and June 6 in the city. So far, names of 14 accused have surfaced, of whom 11 have been arrested.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
June 30, 2021 12:46:47 am
Mumbai vaccine newsTripathi, who is the director of a private institute in Kandivali (east) that trains nursing students, is also accused of using two of his students -- Karim Akbar Ali and Roshni Patel -- to help commit the crimes. While Ali has been arrested, Patel is wanted in the case.

The Kandivali police Tuesday arrested Dr Manish Tripathi, a 26-year-old dentist, after he surrendered before them in connection with the “bogus” Covid vaccination drives in the city.

Tripathi’s name has cropped up with five others in all the nine bogus drives that were conducted between May 25 and June 6 in the city. So far, names of 14 accused have surfaced, of whom 11 have been arrested.

Tripathi will be produced before a magistrate court Wednesday where the police will seek his custody for further investigation. According to the Kandivali police, based on the statement of one of the accused Mahendra Singh, Tripathi is involved in sourcing of the vaccines for the “bogus” drives.

Tripathi, who is the director of a private institute in Kandivali (east) that trains nursing students, is also accused of using two of his students — Karim Akbar Ali and Roshni Patel — to help commit the crimes. While Ali has been arrested, Patel is wanted in the case.

Meanwhile, the Borivali police Tuesday got the custody of two accused, Shrikant Mane and Seema Ahuja, both travel agents who got a commission from the other accused to get people for vaccination. The duo had contacted Hardik Shah, the CEO of Mansi Shares and Stock advisors, who had then organised the vaccination drive for 514 people from his company and their relatives.

“We have received their custody till July 5,” said inspector Vijay Madeya from Borivali police station, who is investigating the case.

10th drive under scanner

The Samta Nagar police has now written to the BMC to probe a vaccination drive that took place at Kandivali (east) on April 23 and 24. Over 550 people, working for a private company along with their relatives, had received jabs at the camp. The drive was conducted by the Shivam hospital, which was an authorised private Covid vaccination centre from March 5 to April 28.

In this case, too, police said the victims did not receive certificates which compelled them to approach local police. “We got the complaint a few days back. We will take action based on BMC’s report,” said Aanandrao Hakke, senior inspector of Samta Nagar police station.

Jabs fake, saline water filled in empty Covishield vials: Tope

State Health Minister Rajesh Tope Tuesday said a preliminary investigation by the police indicated the vaccines administered during the “bogus” drives to over 2,000 people were “fake and saline water” was filled in empty vials of Covishield.

“The question is how they accessed these vials. Inquiry is on to understand vials of which batch were put to use,” he said. An antibody test, Tope added, will be carried in July first week on all those who received vaccination across the nine camps.

It takes 28 days for the body’s immune system to generate antibodies against the virus after vaccination. “We will also carry out a basic health check-up. We will create a provision to get these people vaccinated and registered on CoWIN as well. If they have received fake certificates, we will reach out to the central government to get them immunised with the same Aadhaar details again,” Tope said.

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