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HindustanTimes Wed,27 Aug 2014

Sealed godowns opened secretly, drug dept says cattle feed found

Jatinder Kohli, Hindustan Times  Jalandhar, June 12, 2014
First Published: 22:19 IST(12/6/2014) | Last Updated: 22:20 IST(12/6/2014)

After sealing two godowns at Gopal Nagar in the city on June 5 alleging that banned medicines were stored there, the district drug department has opened the seals of the gates secretly and claimed that there were only cattle feed supplements in the two stores, thus raising a question mark on the entire episode.

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On June 5, the drug licensing authority staff had sealed two godowns of Wadhwa Agencies following which their owner Rakesh Kumar fled from the spot in the presence of a police team.

The district drug department had also claimed that the godowns were unlicensed. The department failed to act against the owner allegedly under pressure from a senior local BJP leader.

The police officials had also shown indifference when they were asked to guard the godowns.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, zonal licensing authority Gurbinder Singh said the godown owner appeared before the police and the matter was brought to their notice after a few days of the sealing of his godowns.

Singh further said after opening the seals in the presence of the police and the godown owner, the department officials thoroughly checked the two-storey building and found no drugs which could be misused or banned.

He said there were veterinary drugs in the building such as cattle feed and other calcium drugs.

As why Kumar fled from the spot on the day of the raid if there were only veterinary drugs in the godowns, Singh said, "Kumar told us that he was frightened when we reached his shops and the police would implicate him in a false case."

However, another official in the drug department said the police and drug department were working under political pressure after the raid on June 5.

Civil surgeon RL Bassan was unavailable for comments when HT tried to contact him.

On June 5, a drug department team comprising Gurbinder Singh, drug inspectors Kamal Kamboj and Sandeep Kaushik reached the godowns after receiving information that medicine liable be misused were stored there.

They called up the agency owner and the police.

When asked to open the godowns' lock, Kumar said the keys were at his home. When sent to bring the keys, Kumar never returned.

It was then decided to seal both the godowns as the officials could not enter the premises in the owner's absence. The team also wrote to the police to depute two guards outside the godowns so that no one could enter and remove the suspected medicines.

A police party led by assistant sub-inspector Mangat Ram was present at the spot. Ram claimed he was not present when Kumar fled.


 

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