BJP leader alleges cover-up in pediatric deaths in Udhampur
Jammu: Alleging cover-up in deaths of around 11 young children in Ramnagar near here following consumption of a cough syrup, later found having traces of a deadly compound, senior BJP leader R S Pathania on Sunday asked why no action was taken against errant drug control authorities.
At least 11 children, aged between one and four years, died in different areas of Ramnagar Block of Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir between December last year and January this year.
A team of experts, deployed by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, had visited the area in January to investigate the pediatric deaths and they had later confirmed the presence of a deadly compound in the ColdBest-PC syrup that the parents had bought from a local chemist to treat their children suffering from cough and cold.
Criticising the registration of an FIR merely against a local Registered Medical Practitioner and a wholesale-vendor, Pathania asked why only a wholesale dealer has been booked for a manufacturing error committed by the drug manufacturers.
The syrup was produced by Digital Vision Pharma, Kala Amb, Sirmour in Himachal Pradesh and Messrs Orison Pharma of Ambala Cantonment, said Pathania, also a former J&K MLA .
“Why the drug control authorities or the testing agency have not been booked for allowing spurious drugs to be brought and sold in J&K freely till the alarm bell rang?” he asked.
Pathania, who is also the BJP’s state spokesperson, said the negligence by and the irresponsible ways of working of the Drugs and Food Control Organization claimed the precious lives of children.
The BJP leader also asked why no compensation has been given to the victims of “this apathy” till now and demanded monetary assistance to the victim families and those who are still undergoing treatment in various hospitals outside J&K.
Pathania threatened to launch a “serious stir” against the department if nothing tangible comes out in the next few days and said it would be at the personal risk and responsibility of “log-like sleeping administration”.