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Mumbai: With two more FIRs in ‘fake’ vaccination drive, total cases climb to 10

On Wednesday, on a complaint from an MCGM doctor, Samta Nagar police lodged an FIR regarding a bogus vaccination drive conducted in April in Kandivali (east), where 618 people from four different companies were said to be vaccinated.

Written by Jayprakash S Naidu | Mumbai |
Updated: July 1, 2021 12:26:12 pm
Beneficiaries above the age of 18 queue up for vaccination in ESIS hospital in Navi Mumbai.

The Samta Nagar police and Amboli police Wednesday registered the ninth and 10th FIRs respectively in the case of bogus vaccination drives conducted across the city. The FIRs have been registered against the same group of people against whom complaints were filed in the previous eight cases.

On Wednesday, on a complaint from an MCGM doctor, Samta Nagar police lodged an FIR regarding a bogus vaccination drive conducted in April in Kandivali (east), where 618 people from four different companies were said to be vaccinated.

Like in a number of previous cases, in this case too none of the beneficiaries received any certificates for receiving the first dose of Covishield. With the latest two cases coming to light, the total number of people who may have been duped in fake vaccination drives now stands at 2,678.

According to Samta Nagar police, they have lodged the FIR against Dr Manish Tripathi, whose name had cropped up in all the 10 drives that are under scanner, Dr Anurag, whose name has surfaced for the first time, and Tripathi’s 19-year-old student Karim Akbar Ali, whose name too had cropped up in all the drives. Another student of Tripathi, Roshni Patel, whose name had come up in five other drives, has been named in the FIR.

The accused used the name of Shivam Hospital while carrying out the drive, officials said. The hospital is the same whose name had surfaced in nine such drives. However, the Samta Nagar Police have not named Shivraj Pataria and his wife Nita, who run Shivam Hospital, as accused in this case.

Shivam hospital was authorised by the government to carry out vaccination till April 28 and this drive was conducted before this period ended, unlike the other nine drives, held between May 25 to June 6, where the hospital had no authority to conduct them.

The drive was conducted in Kandivali (east) on the premises of one of the four private companies whose employees were vaccinated. The complaint was received from Intercontinental Diamonds, but the police have not made them a complainant in the case yet. “We are probing the case. If their (private companies’) role is established for not following the government protocol for conducting the drive, then we will book them as well,” said Aanandrao Hakke, senior inspector of Samta Nagar police station. The FIR has been lodged under IPC sections for attempt to culpable homicide and criminal conspiracy.

In the 10th FIR, registered by the Amboli police station, Rajesh Pandey has been named as main accused. The complainant is Avinash Bidya, a marketing professional. Pandey worked as a marketing executive with Kokilaben Ambani Hospital, which terminated his services after his name surfaced in multiple drives. As per the FIR, Pandey, posing as a doctor, approached the company and said he would conduct a vaccination drive through Kokilaben Ambani Hospital. On June 3, he collected Rs 2.94 lakh and conducted the drive on June 4 when 218 people were vaccinated. “None of them received a certificate. Pandey is the main accused but we are probing others,” said Someshwar Kamthe, senior inspector of Amboli police station.

Meanwhile, the MIDC police has also written to BMC after receiving a complaint from a private company that over a 1,000 of its people were vaccinated but only 40 received a certificate.

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