Mumbai Police has questioned a director of Bruck Pharma, a Daman-based pharmaceutical manufacturing company for allegedly stocking up Remdesivir drug worth Rs 4.65 crore in the city.
According to the police, the drug used for the treatment of Covid-19 was allegedly stockpiled by the company to transport it out of the country illegally.
However, BJP later claimed that the Maharashtra unit of the party had taken the initiative to procure the drug to help citizens. Former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and another top BJP leader Praveen Darekar rushed to the police station in Ville Parle where the executive was being questioned.
In a written statement, Fadnavis said it was “our sincere attempt to get remdesivar for Maharashtra. And accordingly we were all trying when suddenly Bruck Farma official was detained by Mumbai police.”
“As the opposition leader I visited the Ville Parle police station to get explanation on these developments,” he added.
Darekar said he went to Daman on Monday to do the supply deal with Bruck Pharma. “We wanted to distribute the drug through the state government. As a noble gesture we decided to foot the entire cost of Rs 4.75 crore. Fadnavis was to hand over the Remdesivir stock to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray,” said Darekar, claiming that state minister for Food and Drugs Rajendra Shingne was in the know of the plan as it required state permission.
Maharashtra Congress general secretary Sachin Sawant on Sunday came out defending the police action and questioned Fadnavis’ interest in the entire episode. “What is the fault of the police? They had intelligence that a large stock of 60,000 vials of Remdesivir has been kept hidden with exporters of Bruck Pharma which was not reported,” Sawant said.
“The Mumbai Police had called the director for an enquiry but he kept evading. After two days he came. But BJP leaders became so upset that they personally rushed for his support,” Sawant alleged.
Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik on Saturday had alleged that the Centre had asked Remdesivir manufacturers not to supply to Maharashtra. He said under the circumstances, the state government would have no choice but to seize the stocks from these export manufacturers and supply it those who need them.