Chhattisgarh sterilisations: Delhi lab confirms presence of rat poison in medicine
RAIPUR: A Delhi-based drug laboratory has confirmed
the presence of rat poison, Zinc Phosphide, in the antibiotic, Ciprocin 500,
which were distributed to the victims of the botched sterilisations in the
state, leading to 13 deaths.
According to officials while drug samples were sent to
three labs, including one each in Kolkotta and Nagpur, the Delhi lab, Shri Ram
Laboratory had confirmed the presence of the rat poison. Besides, traces of
other toxic materials, including aluminium, have also been found in the drug.
Confirming the receipt of the report, Principal
Secretary (health), Alok Shukla, refused to comment on its findings but
admitted that the same had been sent to the Bilaspur police for investigation.
However, sources privy to the report confirmed that the drug had rat poison in
Sources said according to the report, the content of
the main salt, Ciprofloxacin, in Ciprocin was found to be only 300 mg whereas
it should have been 500 mg. The findings would be a set back to the drug
manufacturing companies, Mahawar Pharmaceutical Pvt, Ltd, Raipur, and Bilaspur
based Kavita Pharma, whose promoters have already been arrested by the police.
The findings also put a question mark on the decision
of the state government, which not only suspended but also arrested and
dismissed the laparoscopy surgeon, Dr RK Gupta. Another doctor Dr RK Bhange was
also dismissed from service along with Dr Gupta even before the inquiry
committee constituted by the state government began its probe
The medical fraternity in the state is already
agitating for the release of Dr Gupta and has been accusing the state government
of making him a scapegoat in the case. A state-wide strike has been called for
illegal sacking of medicos tomorrow (November 20) by Medical Officers
Association, which has also threatened mass resignations if their demands are
Ironically, while the report nails the misdoings of
Mahawar Pharma, the company had been given a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)
certificate by the drug department earlier this year. This was despite the fact
that drugs manufactured by this company had been banned 8 times by the state
government due to substandard quality.