In a late night action yesterday, the Chhattisgarh police arrested the directors of Mahavar Pharama Pvt Ltd, a manufacturer of antibiotic Ciprofloxacin consumed by the victims of the Bilaspur laparoscopic surgeries. The arrested directors are Ramesh Mahavar and his son Sumit Mahavar.
The police have said that the company did not manufacture the drugs here, bought from elsewhere and merely packaged it in the factory. The food and drug department noted that the company did not have proper equipment to manufacture drugs. A case of forgery under Section 420 of IPC has been registered against the duo.
However, these arrests raise serious questions over the health department and medicare in Chhattisgarh. The company had been operating in the state capital for over a decade. While the drug department failed to notice its allegedly illegal operations, the health ministry regularly purchased and used its medicines in bulk.
Following the ban on four drugs that were used during the surgeries, the Food and Drug Controller had raided and sealed the Raipur-based Mahavar Pharma Pvt Ltd yesterday. It is a small factory in a residential colony and does not even have a notice board indicating the company or its operations.
“We never sell to the government. We sell to drug traders, who supply it to various agencies. This antibiotic is sold at many places. We have never received any complaint,” the company said in a statement.
The dismissed Dr RK Gupta, who conducted 83 surgeries in just five hours, has also blamed the state government. “What is my fault? I am just a doctor. We were given the targets of surgeries. If we did not meet them, the administration pressurised us. The state government and Health Minister Amar Agarwal are responsible,” said Gupta, now in judicial custody.