Madhya Pradesh water resources minister Tulsi Silawat
Madhya Pradesh water resources minister Tulsi Silawat

Indore (Madhya Pradesh): A man accused in a case of alleged black-marketing of Remdesivir here in Madhya Pradesh has claimed he received vials of the key anti-viral drug from the driver of state water resources minister Tulsiram Silawat's wife.

After a video in which the accused purportedly made the claim went viral on social media, the minister on Wednesday denied any involvement of his family in the matter, while the opposition Congress sought his immediate removal from the state cabinet.

The accused, Punit Agrawal (27), driver of a vehicle hired from a private travel agency by the health department for Indore district health officer Purnima Gadaria, was arrested on Monday night on charges of black-marketing Remdesivir.

In the video, Agrawal was seen with handcuffs in a police car after his arrest with two vials of Remdesivir. Responding to questions from reporters, Agrawal was heard alleging that, "I had taken two vials of Remdesivir for Rs 14,000 each from fellow driver Govind Rajput of the travel agency. He drives the car of minister Tulsiram Silawat's wife."

Agrawal also claimed he was going to give both the vials at the cost of Rs 14,000 each to a policeman named Lalit Sharma, who has asked him for the injections. He further claimed that Rajput had provided Remdesivir injections to many other people.

When asked about the claim, Silawat said Agarwal's statement should be examined impartially. "My wife's car is driven by different drivers of this private travel agency. Our family has got nothing to do with their illegal activities," he asserted.

Congress MLA Sanjay Shukla
Congress MLA Sanjay Shukla

However, local Congress MLA Sanjay Shukla said he had alleged that Silawat's family was selling Remdesivir injections and Agarwal's statement has now proved it.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan should immediately remove Silawat from his cabinet, he said. Meanwhile, Vijay Nagar police station in-charge Tehzeeb Qazi claimed Agrawal was deliberately mentioning big names to mislead people and save himself from legal tangles.

"However, we are conducting a detailed probe into his statements," the official said. The official also said they had caught Agarwal after laying a trap and the policeman (Lalit Sharma) whose name he mentioned in the video was involved in the operation.

He also said Govind Rajput was not yet detained for questioning. Health officer Gadaria, whose vehicle Agrawal used to drive before his arrest, has already said that she has got nothing to do with the case of black-marketing of Remdesivir.

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