Maharashtra Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday accused Maharastra Police of harassing a Daman-based Remdesivir supplier for agreeing to supply a stock of the drug to the state on the request of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders.
"Four days ago, we had requested Bruck Pharma to supply a stock of Remdesivir vials to Maharashtra. They said they couldn't until permissions were given. I spoke with Union Minister Mansukh Mandviya and got Food and Drug Administration (FDA)'s permission. Tonight around nine pm, the police arrested him," Fadnavis told reporters.
The former Maharashtra Chief Minister added that the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Manjunath Singe told they had inputs that some exporters had 60,000 vials and they only wanted to verify the same.
"We showed the police the permission letter. He (DCP) said it wasn't communicated to them earlier," the BJP leader added.
He added that whatever happened was wrong.
However, Singe refuted the allegations that the distributor was arrested and said he was summoned just for an inquiry given the widespread black marketing of the antiviral medication.
"There's a shortage of Remdesvir in the state and black marketing is rampant. We had got information about this storage facility. Acting in good faith, we only wanted to verify the inputs. He (supplier) was called for an inquiry, it wasn't an arrest," Singe told media.
As India reported its highest-ever single-day spike of COVID-19 cases with over 2.34 lakh new cases and more than 1,300 deaths on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting to review the status of preparedness to handle the ongoing pandemic.
Prime Minister directed officials that the use of Remdesivir and other medicines must be in accordance with approved medical guidelines and their misuse and black marketing must be strictly curbed.