Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi on Monday accused former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis of committing a “crime against humanity” by hoarding remdesivir injections.
Gandhi was referring to Fadnavis’ actions on Saturday after the Mumbai Police questioned the director of medicine company Bruck Pharma over suspicions that the firm was going to export the antiviral drug despite a ban.
The executive was allowed to leave after 45 minutes but Bharatiya Janata Party leaders Fadnavis and Praveen Darekar went to the Vile Parle police station to speak to officials about the matter.
“At a time when people from all across the country are pleading to provide remdesivir injections and are struggling to get even one vial, this BJP leader is committing a crime against humanity by hoarding the drug,” Gandhi said in a tweet. She shared a video of Fadnavis arguing with police officials.
States such as Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat have complained about a shortage of remdesivir, which is being used to treat critical coronavirus patients, even though medical opinion about its effectiveness has been mixed.
On Saturday, the police had apprehended Rajesh Dokania, director of Daman-based Bruck Pharma on information that at least 60,000 remdesivir vials were being sent abroad. Dokania was allowed to leave after 45 minutes of questioning by police, but Fadnavis and Darekar went to the police station and expressed their displeasure on the matter.
Fadnavis has said that last week Darekar and another BJP leader Prasad Lal had gone to Daman and asked Bruck Pharma to supply remdesivir to Maharashtra because the state was facing a shortage.
“We had not called those remdesivir vials for the BJP and Darekar had met the food and drug administration minister [of Maharashtra] to say that the remdesivir injections will be handed over to the ministry and the municipal corporation,” Fadnavis told reporters on Sunday, adding that he was not afraid to face an inquiry on the matter.
Meanwhile, reports on Sunday revealed that the police in Gujarat’s Valsad district had on April 15 arrested a technical director of medicine company Bruck Pharma and his associate for allegedly selling injections of the antiviral remdesivir injection in the black market. The police seized 18 vials of the injection from the two arrested, who were not authorised to keep them.