Mumbai: With two more FIRs, the total is now 10 in fake vax drive case

Two more FIRs were lodged at Samta Nagar and Amboli police stations on Wednesday in connection with the fake vaccination drive conducted at various spots in the city, taking the total number of FIRs to 10.

While Samta Nagar police have booked Dr Manish Tripathi, Dr Anurag, Roshni Patel and Qareem Ali for allegedly administering fake vaccines to 618 people at Intercontinental Diamond in Kandivali East, Amboli police have booked Rajesh Pandey and others for allegedly administering fake vaccines to 218 people at Kwan Talent Management.

The police said the vaccination drive was conducted on April 23, 24 and 28 at Samta Nagar, and the FIR was registered on the complaint of a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) official. The vaccination drive in Amboli was held on June 4.

According to police sources, the drive was conducted around the time when Shivam Hospital was given permission by the BMC to administer vaccines as a private COVID-19 vaccination centre (PCVC), valid till April 28. The beneficiaries, however, did not receive any certificates from the CoWin App, raising suspicions over the drive’s authenticity. Senior inspector of Samta Nagar police station, Anandrao Haake, said employees of four companies were administered vaccines by Roshni and Qareem, along with Dr Manish Tripathi and one Dr Anurag.

Haake said, “As of now names of Mahendra Singh and other aides have not cropped up in the probe. Whosoever’s name comes up in the investigation, we will add their names in the FIR. Name of Shivam Hospital, too, has not come up in the investigation.” Meanwhile, the BMC is probing the matter to ascertain if the vaccines administered were authentic or not.

At Amboli police station, Rajesh Pandey, besides others, has been booked for allegedly administering fake vaccines to 218 people at Kwan, and charging ₹3,07,476. Pandey, who is on the run, posed as an employee of Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital. No accused has been arrested in the matter yet.

In another development, a gold company in Andheri East has submitted a written complaint at MIDC police station claiming that the same gang had inoculated around 1,000 people. While the BMC is making enquiries, a formal FIR is likely to be lodged after the BMC submits its findings.

Earlier, two FIRs were registered at Borivali, and one each at Kandivali, Khar, Versova, Naupada, Bhoiwada, Bangur Nagar and the latest being at Samta Nagar and Amboli police stations.

Meanwhile, the residents of Hiranandani Heritage, who were the first to lodge a complaint in the fake vaccination drive at Kandivali police station, have submitted an application in the Borivali magistrate court, requesting to add serious sections of the Indian Penal Code in the case as all victims had fallen ill after the drive. The complainants want blood tests conducted.

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