Police asked to book ‘killer’ cough syrup maker: Report

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SRINAGAR — The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Wednesday directed the police to register a case against the Himachal Pradesh-based pharmaceutical company whose cough syrup allegedly killed nine children in Udhampur district, reported a media outlet.

Media quoted sources as having said that the move came after the administration on Tuesday received a final lab report confirming the presence of a deadly compound in the ColdBest-PC syrup that caused the deaths in Ramnagar area.

The report quoted Atal Dulloo, the Principal Secretary of the Health and Medical Education Department, as having said that the police have been formally asked to register an FIR against the manufacturer, Digital Vision.

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Police officers are in the process of registering an FIR and details will be made public once it is registered, the newspaper quoted the sub-divisional police officer of Ramnagar, Gharu Ram, as saying.

However, it was unclear whether the Health department communique mentioned the name of the local chemist, Mohinder Singh, who had allegedly prescribed and sold the syrup to most of the children who died between December and January.

The chemist, a registered medical practitioner, is only a Class X pass-out with no qualifying diploma or degree. By his own admission, his father, Bharat Singh, was a valid (traditional healer), who prescribed Ayurvedic medicines.

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He claimed to have started learning under him, and it was this “experience”, along with an interview, that helped him register as a medical practitioner in 1982 with the then J&K Board of Ayurvedic and Unani System of Medicines.

While the registration allowed him to only prescribe Ayurvedic medicines, on the basis of another interview in 1998, he got the licence from J&K Pharmacy Council to sell allopathic medicines as well, reported the media.

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