Kolkata Police forms SIT, BJP demands CBI probe into the fake vaccination case

Kolkata Police forms SIT, BJP demands CBI probe into the fake vaccination case

Hummingbird News Desk

KOLKATA, 25 JUNE: With the Kolkata Police forming a Special Investigation Team (SIT) led by the joint police commissioner (Crime) to investigate the vaccine fraudster Debanjan Deb case, the BJP has demanded a CBI probe into this matter.

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Debanjan, who impersonating as an IAS officer, organised COVID-19 vaccination camps where around 2000 people were suspected to have administered fake doses, has been arrested by the Kolkata police.

“We have formed an SIT to probe into the matter. Senior officers of the Detective Department are there in the team,” a senior Kolkata police officer told reporters here. 

According to police officials, Deb allegedly had financially duped several people in Kolkata by impersonating as a joint municipal commissioner of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC). On his social media accounts, he had posted several pictures of organising medical camps and participating in government programmes. The TMC leadership, however, denied any involvement in the matter.

“We are politicians and attend several programmes every day. Many people come to us and click pictures. It is not always possible to ascertain their identity. The allegations against our leaders are baseless and politically motivated,” senior TMC leader and minister Firhad Hakim said.

Suvendu Adhikari, leader of the opposition in the state assembly claimed, “It is a conspiracy of the TMC as it is trying to tarnish the BJP-led Union government with a claim that it has provided fake vaccines”.

“We apprehend that the West Bengal government and the ruling party have hatched a large conspiracy to implicate the Centre. They are helping people with disputable identity to organise camps where fake jabs were administered to defame the Narendra Modi regime. “If there was any adverse impact on people who were inoculated, the TMC will blame the Centre for providing fake vaccines,” he said.

Mr Adhikari led a BJP delegation to Swasthya Bhawan, the state health department headquarters, and questioned officials how a person impersonating as an IAS officer has been organising vaccination camps remained off the radar of the police and the department for so long.

“The fake IAS officer organised several camps and brought busloads of people from other areas. How can it be that he was not caught earlier? Was he being shielded by the ruling party? It is a large conspiracy. Only a probe by a large agency like the CBI can unravel the truth,” he said. The ruling TMC dubbed the allegations as baseless and politically motivated.

 “If just a photograph proves someone guilty, several BJP leaders should be put behind bars for having being photographed with several scamsters. The police, in this case, arrested the prime accused and will unravel the truth,” senior TMC leader Tapas Ray countered. 

Meanwhile, a PIL was filed before the Calcutta High Court on Friday seeking an investigation into the vaccination fraud by an independent probe agency.

The police arrested Deb on Wednesday for allegedly posing as an IAS officer and organising a COVID-19 vaccination camp in Kasba, where actor and Trinamul Congress MP Mimi Chakraborty also got her jab. Chakraborty, who was invited to attend the camp, said she became suspicious about the vaccination process as she did not receive the customary SMS sent to people after they were administered a dose and informed the police.

During a search in Deb’s office, police seized several vials of an antibiotic injection used for many bacterial infections and other items that were sent for tests.

It was also found that fake labels of Covishield were pasted on the vials of Amikacin injections used for a number of bacterial infections. Fake logos, letterheads, and pads of the KMC were also seized from his office. On what could be the purpose of Deb in holding such free camps, a senior Kolkata Police official said it is yet to be known, but he might have political connections that helped him in organising those camps. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has started an internal inquiry into the matter and is also spotting people who have taken vaccines from his camps. 

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