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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Mumbai: Statements of nursing students used as ‘guinea pigs’ form crux of chargesheet in fake vaccine drive case

A senior officer said the three nursing students working at the training institute of Dr Manish Tripathi, one of the accused in the case, have recorded their statements before the police.

Written by Mohamed Thaver | Mumbai |
Updated: August 20, 2021 12:15:24 pm
At a vaccination centre in Mumbai (Express Photo)

Statements of three nursing students on whom fake vaccines were first tested by the main accused in the alleged fake vaccination drive carried out at Hiranandani housing society at Kandivali in June forms the crux of the evidence in the over 2,000-page chargesheet filed by Mumbai police against 11 persons last week.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) led by Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Vishal Thakur, which filed the chargesheet in this case, will be filing chargesheets in nine more cases, officials said. The nine cases were registered after it came to light that the accused had allegedly carried out fake vaccination drives in several places where saline water was used instead of vaccines.

A senior officer said the three nursing students working at the training institute of Dr Manish Tripathi, one of the accused in the case, have recorded their statements before the police. “They have said that the accused had tried out the saline water on the three trainees prior to using them on the residents of the housing society,” an officer recounting the trio’s statements said.

They have mentioned in their statements that they were kept under observation for around 24-48 hours to see if there was any adverse effect. After no such adverse effect was seen, the accused went ahead with their plan, an officer said. “The three trainees were, however, not aware that the saline water injections were going to be used instead of vaccines on the housing society residents,” the officer added.

The officer added that the nursing students were told that the exercise would be counted as part of their “practical” and that they would receive “good marks if they agreed to volunteer” to take the saline water injections. “The statements of the three students about how the saline water injections were tried on them before using it at other societies is important to show how the accused had planned the fraud,” an IPS officer told The Indian Express.

The officer further said that in addition to the 10 FIRs registered in the case, they have registered another cheating case against Dr Tripathi at the behest of the nursing students. After this case came to light, the students found that while Rs 70,000 was taken from them in the form of fees, Dr Tripathi’s institute was allegedly not registered with a recognised board. Following a written complaint by the students, an FIR was registered by the Charkop police against Dr Tripathi.

In the chargesheet submitted by the police last week, the statements of a total of 500 people have been recorded. The chargesheet said that the accused, including the owners of Shivam Hospital that carried out the drive for 390 persons at Hiranandani Society, had committed the crime for monetary gain. The accused were charged with sections that deal with culpable homicide not amounting to murder, destruction of evidence, cheating and forgery among others.

 

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