Kolkata vaccine scam: Suvendu Adhikari writes to Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, demands probe by central agencies

New Delhi: West Bengal BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari on Friday (June 25) wrote a letter to Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan demanding that the alleged vaccination scam in Kolkata must be probed by the central agencies. Claiming that the vaccine fraud cannot occur without the “complicity of top civic authorities”, Adhikari asked the health minister for an investigation by the central agencies. 

“The big question is – Were these shots really Covishield vaccines as being claimed by the accused? If so, then this raises a big question on pilferage of Covid vaccines from government stock and this cannot happen without complicity of top civic authorities,” the West Bengal’s leader of opposition wrote in his letter. 

He added, “If these were not Covid vaccines, then immediate investigation needs to be done as to what was being administered at such a large scale?”

Slamming the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government, Adhikari said “due to lack of enthusiasm” from the present state government, the state is “failing to catch up” in the inoculation drive. “Bengal is failing to catch up to other states, largely due to the lack of enthusiasm from the present state government,” he wrote. 

Further, he asserted that a “transparent investigation” into the matter without the state government’s influence is extremely important to restore the credibility of the vaccination process in the state. “A thorough investigation needs to be done, prioritising public health and safety,” the BJP MLA said, demanding “an impartial” investigation by central agencies.  

The Kolkata police on Saturday arrested three more associates of fake IAS officer Debanjan Deb in connection with the dubious COVID-19 vaccination camps. Deb was arrested on Wednesday for posing as an IAS officer and organising a COVID-19 vaccination camp in the Kasba area, where actor and Trinamool Congress MP Mimi Chakraborty also got vaccinated. The incident came to light after Chakraborty did not receive the customary SMS that is sent to people after they get the jab and raised an alarm. Deb has been accused of duping thousands of people of lakhs of rupees from these camps. 

The investigation has also revealed that another vaccination camp was organised by Deb at a college in north Kolkata’s Amherst Street area where several teachers and students took the vaccine. 

(With agency inputs)

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