Gang selling ‘substandard’ plasma busted in MP, could be tip of the iceberg
Madhya Pradesh police on Saturday late night arrested four people for illegally supplying substandard plasma which claimed the life of a Covid-19 infected patient in Gwalior, said police.
The arrested include Ajay Shankar Tyagi, an employee of a private pathology lab along with Jagdish Bhadkariya, Mahesh Maurya and Hemant, all three employed with different private hospitals in Gwalior. The accused were arrested under section 304 (punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
“A Covid-19 infected patient Manoj Gupta, resident of Datia died three days ago. He was administered plasma in a private hospital before his death. The family blamed the plasma for Manoj’s death since the short post-mortem report said Gupta’s blood was infected due to administration of substandard plasma, which was not packed as per standard norms, affecting its quality,” Gwalior superintendent of police, Amit Sanghi said.
The police officer added that an organised gang was involved in supplying plasma for Covid patients. “In the investigation, police found that an organised gang was involved in fraudulently supplying plasma in the name of Jaya Arogya Government Hospital (JAH),” said the SP.
Explaining their modus operandi, the police officer said employees of a couple of private hospitals in Gwalior had formed a network with a private pathology lab employee and targeted stressed family members of patients requiring plasma for a hefty price.
“The gang also targeted Gupta’s family in an orchestrated manner. When doctors asked Gupta’s kin to arrange plasma, one of the hospital employees, Jagdish Bhadkariy, offered to help and shared the mobile number of a middle man named Mahesh Maurya, who was also employed with another private hospital. Maurya then introduced them to one Ajay Shankar Tyagi. Tyagi claimed to be employed with the pathology lab at JAH. He charged the family Rs 18,000 for the plasma and also gave them fake slips of JAH,” said Satendra Singh, additional superintendent of police (ASP).
Police investigation found that Tyagi is the brother of an employee of the pathology lab at JAH and had been arrested in January in a case of fraud. After he was released on bail in May, he started the illegal business of supplying plasma.
“Police are now trying to ascertain the source of the plasma. Tyagi revealed he used to purchase plasma from an employee of a private pathology lab in the city. Police are trying to nab the person and other members of the gang, found to be active in many private hospitals in Gwalior and to have supplied plasma to more than 100 patients,” said the ASP.
A team of police, doctors and district administration has been formed to collect data of patients, who were administered plasma supplied by this gang, and to investigate the role of private hospitals.