Srinagar: What started
as an allegation over the wrongful purchase of antibiotics by a
government-appointed committee in Jammu and Kashmir has now
started haunting the imagination of the public in the Valley. But
is the issue being blown out of proportion?
The alleged scam initially surfaced after a government-appointed
committee's order worth Rs.800,000 for the Maxizin 625 antibiotic,
a combination of amoxycillin and clavenate, tested fake in
laboratory analysis. Now the Doctors Association of Kashmir has
called for a Valley-wide shutdown on May 6 against the suspected
Ironically, the fear and scare among the commonman are so
widespread here that from ordinary cottonwool supplied to
government hospital drug stores to life saving injections like
Mannitol administered in the Valley's only superspecialty Sher-e-Kashmir
Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), every drug is viewed with
suspicion by the public.
Many people even argue that medicines sold at public retail shops
in summer capital Srinagar and other places are also spurious.
"One trusts nothing in Kashmir these days. If a committee of
senior doctors appointed by the government can purchase fake drugs
what stops retail drug shops from also selling spurious
medicines," Gowhar Ahmad, 28, a government employee, told IANS.
Interestingly, the alleged scam has not attracted any public
attention in the Jammu region although the alleged fake antibiotic
Maxizin 625 was supplied to all the hospital drug stores in 2010.
Now that the Valley doctors and also chemists are up in arms
against the "scam", the separatists have also started fishing in
troubled waters. "They are supplying poison to the people of the
Valley in the garb of medicines," alleged a senior separatist
While the separatist accusation is obviously far fetched, the fact
remains that the ever suspecting Kashmiri is living out another
nightmare of suspicion.
"I purchased some medicine for my backache in Goa during this
winter. It worked wonderfully. I bought the same brand in Srinagar
and it does not work," Ali Muhammad Dar, 64, a brick kiln owner in
central Badgam district, told IANS.
The state government has handed over the investigations to the
Crime Branch and also asked the vigilance department to probe the
assets of members of the committee that approved the purchase of
the fake antibiotic.
(Sheikh Qayoom can be contacted at email@example.com)