Maha police questions Remdesivir supplier from Daman

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Mumbai, Apr 17 (PTI) Maharashtra Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis has alleged the state government was harassing a supplier of Remdesivir from neighbouring union territory Daman because BJP leaders had approached him for supply of the antiviral medication to the state.

Speaking to reporters late on Saturday night, Fadnavis said: 'Daman-based Bruck Pharma Pvt Ltd was one of the exporters of Remdesivir, whom we (BJP leaders) had contacted to supply the stock to Maharashtra as the state is facing shortage of Remdesivir vials. We have even informed the state FDA minister about it and approached the union government seeking necessary permissions.' Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Council Pravin Darekar and MLC Prasad Lad few days ago went to Daman to meet the officials of Bruck Pharma, requesting them to sell their exportable stock into Maharashtra, Fadnavis said.

'They were told by the company that if the centre and state approve it, they will sell their entire stock to Maharashtra,' he said.

'Union Minister of State for Chemical and Fertilizers Mansukh Mandviya has also given necessary orders enabling the sale of exportable stock of Remdesivir in Maharashtra. However, I was shocked to find (out) that one of the OSDs (officer on special duty) of the state FDA Minister had contacted the owner of Bruck Pharma and allegedly threatened him, over him approaching the centre on the suggestions of BJP leaders,” Fadnavis said.

He said such behaviour cannot be tolerated.

When contacted, a senior state police official said, 'A director of a pharma company, which supplies Remdesivir, was questioned by the police in connection with the stock of the vials.” 'On the specific information, police apprehended the pharma company director at Vile Parle in Western Suburbs,' an official said.

'He is a manufacturer and was in the business of exporting the Remdesivir vials,” he said.

“After the export was banned, he had stocked at least 60,000 vials. The state and central government has given him permission to sell it in the market,” he said.

'As there was not any violation, Mumbai police did not take any legal action against him. He was questioned about the stock, following which he produced necessary documents,' the official said.

After getting information on the development, BJP leaders, including Fadnavis and Darekar, rushed to the Bandra Kurla Complex around midnight to meet Deputy Commissioner of Police in this connection. PTI ND DC IND