Drugs Scam: DAK Ups Ante, Threatens Strike

Drugs Scam: DAK Ups Ante, Threatens Strike

15 April 2013
Kashmir Observer


Srinagar: Asserting that the former health minister was directly involved in supplying spurious drugs to hospitals in the Valley, the Doctors’ Association of Kashmir (DAK) on Monday demanded that Sham Lal Sharma should resign from the state cabinet on moral grounds until he is cleared by an independent inquiry. The DAK also demanded the arrest and prosecution of the members of the Central Purchasing Committee which had cleared the stock of sub-standard antibiotics whose massive supply to Valley hospitals has put the trade in spurious drugs in the spotlight. “The then health minister Sham Lal Sharma’s role should be probed. Till he is cleared of the allegations, he should resign from his post on moral grounds,” the DAK president, Dr. Nisar-ul-Hassan, said at a press conference here. He said that Valley doctors would close down all hospitals if the government failed to give up its insensitivity and institute an independent inquiry, adding that the strike would continue until the culprits are booked. “Spurious drugs were supplied to Kashmir hospitals by Jammu supplier Ashok Sharma, who was the polling agent of former health minister, Sham Lal Sharma. They had started the business together when Sham Lal was found involved in the “store scam” in Jammu,” the DAK president said. “How did the minister of state for health Shabir Ahmad Khan dare to issue a statement that Sham Lal was not responsible? Did he wait for the probe? How did he act as a judge and pass judgement without ascertaining facts,” he said. The doctor said that the “drug mafia” was behind the supply of spurious medicines in the state, and claimed that drug licences were being issued in lieu of heavy bribes. “Scores of drug licences have been issued for a bribe of Rs 30,000 each. The drug mafia is in league with ministers in systematic genocide of Kashmiris. It is a healthcare policy of administering untimely death to patients,” the doctor said. “Drug licences have been issued to dealers of spurious drugs under a conspiracy for the genocide of Kashmiris,” he said. “The health minister is a part of it.” “The supply of spurious drugs has also cast an ugly blot on the noble medical profession which is being viewed with mistrust,” he said. “It is the height of injustice that the government has asked individuals who are part and parcel of the drug scam to probe it. What else can one expect of a government whose head has maintained a criminal silence over this grave issue,” he said. The DAK also pulled up the director of health services, Dr. Saleem-ur-Rahman, for his reported statement that fake drugs are found everywhere. “How can Dr. Saleem claim that the issue is being blown out of proportion? How can he say that fake drugs are found everywhere? He must not equate other places with Kashmir? When people rise up, he will certainly face the music,” he said. The DAK also asked separatist leaders to call for a strike, and protests in all parts of the Valley against the supply of spurious drugs, saying that the youth, traders and other associations must play their role in unmasking those involved.