Raipur: The Chhattisgarh government has constituted a probe panel chaired by a retired judge to investigate the botched sterilisation surgeries at Bilaspur's government-run medical camps which have so far claimed lives of 13 young women and left nearly 138 ill.
"A single-member probe commission has been constituted and retd District and Sessions Judge Anita Jha has been entrusted with the responsibility of investigating the case of sterilisation surgeries at Sankri (Pendari), Gaurela, Pendra and Marwahi areas of Bilaspur district, where 13 women died and several fell critically ill after undergoing surgery," a government statement here said today.
The commission will have to submit its report to the state government within three months, it said.
Chief Minister Raman Singh had yesterday announced an unbiased and transparent judicial probe into the incidents following which, the General Administration Department issued a notification last evening regarding formation of the panel, the release said.
While 83 women were operated upon at Nemichand Jain Cancer and Research Centre at Pendari village of Takhatpur block on November 8, around 56 women underwent surgeries at three different camps in Pendra block on November 10.
The commission will investigate the case on number of points, including if standard protocol was followed at these camps, circumstances that led to the incident, whether medicines used at the camps were of standard quality, who are those accountable for this incident, measures that can be taken to avoid recurrence of such incidents and others, the statement added.
Earlier, the director of a drug company, which allegedly supplied sub-standard medicines that were administered to the victims of sterilisation surgeries, and his son were arrested today. The police also sealed the drug company in connection with its probe into the case.
"Mahawar Pharma Pvt Ltd's director Ramesh Mahwar and his son Sumit have been arrested under section 420 for cheating, based on a complaint lodged by Food and Drug Administration authorities," Raipur SP OP Pal told a news agency. The FDA had yesterday sealed a manufacturing unit of the company which supplied an antibiotic drug used at sterilisation camps in Bilaspur district.
During the raid, a significant quantity of drugs were found burnt at the premises of Mahawar Pharma, official sources in the drugs control department had said.
After preliminary examination of the samples of the medicines collected from the pharmaceutical unit, Drug Inspector Tripti Jain lodged a case against the promoters last night following which the action was taken.
The department had last evening also raided a unit of Kavita Pharmaceuticals in Bilaspur, which too had allegedly supplied some medicines to the sterilisation camps in the district, and collected drug samples from there for testing.
The state government has suspended sale of six drugs used in tubectomy surgeries at these sterilisation camps.
Earlier, laparoscopic surgeon Dr RK Gupta of Bilaspur district hospital, who performed tubectomy procedures on 83 women at a camp at Pendari village in a matter of few hours, was arrested on Wednesday.
Dr Gupta and Bilaspur's chief medical and health officer Dr RK Bhange were later dismissed from service by the state government.
Besides, the government had earlier suspended State Programme Convener, family planning, Dr KC Urao and Block Medical Officer, Takhatpur, Dr Pramod Tiwari and transferred Director Health Services Dr Kamalpreet Singh.