Photos of Debanjan Deb hobnobbing with top TMC leaders are doing the rounds of social media.
KOLKATA: Within two months of the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) government returning to power in West Bengal with a huge majority, the state government is under pressure after it has come to light that a fake “IAS officer”–a serial scamster–with links to top leaders of the ruling TMC, administered fake vaccines at a free “vaccination camp” recently. The fake IAS officer recently administered Amikacin, an anti-bacterial drug, in the name of Covid-19 vaccine Covishield.
Many people have already received the fake vaccines from a fake vaccination center near a police station in Kolkata. The Kolkata Police has started investigation. All this comes at a time when the administration is thinking of conducting municipal elections in the state, including in Kolkata.
The fake IAS officer has been found to have links with top leaders of the ruling TMC in Bengal. Photographs of Debanjan Deb hobnobbing with top leaders of the Trinamool Congress are now doing the rounds on social media. Debanjan Deb, who has been arrested by Kolkata Police, had posted various photographs with senior ministers, including Firhad Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee and others on his Twitter handle. Debanjan Deb used blue lights in his car with Biswa Bangla logo. He used fake letterheads and had private security guards. He had opened a bank account in the name of Kolkata Municipal Corporaton(KMC) by forging documents. He ran the fake vaccination camp with government banners. He also allegedly misappropriated money in the name of tender. Now, no one from the TMC is prepared to take responsibility. All leaders have distanced themselves from Debanjan. Not only had he forged documents of the KMC, he had opened a fake account in the name of the city’s civic body and was actively engaged in transactions with medical suppliers.
What has further embarrassed the KMC is that a statue of Rabindranath Tagore that was unveiled earlier this year in the city’s Taltala area features the name of the accused, alongside key functionaries of the city’s civic body, including former mayor Firhad Hakim. Atin Ghosh, member of the KMC’s Board of Administrators, said that statue was not installed after taking the KMC’s permission. The plaque was hurriedly removed by the KMC.
Debanjan procured Amikacin—generic versions—from the local wholesale medical markets flaunting his “IAS identity”. Once he got the vials, he managed a copy of the Covishield logo and labels and got it printed privately. Debanjan’s office was raided and a large number of vials of Amikacin injection /bottles were found. Fake labels of Covishield were pasted on them.
BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari has demanded a central probe into the fake vaccination. The Nandigram MLA has written a letter to Health and Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan, seeking an inquiry by a central body. In the letter, he also praised the BJP-ruled states. He questioned how such a fake vaccination camp was held right at bottom of the nose of the local administration.
Adhikari thanked the Health Minister in the beginning of the letter for the nationwide free vaccination programme. While Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat are reaching vaccination targets every day, Bengal is lagging far behind, he said in the letter. The BJP leader blamed the government’s lack of will for it. He also accused the ruling party of exerting political influence in the matter of vaccination.
Meanwhile, under fire over photographs of fake vaccination racket lynchpin Debanjan Deb with several TMC leaders, Rajya Sabha MP Dr Santanu Sen said that he has filed an FIR against the fraudster. Sen, who is also the West Bengal Indian Medical Association (IMA) secretary, said that soon after realising Deb’s bad intentions, he filed an FIR at the Muchipara police station requesting stringent action against the fraudster. The Trinamool MP also shared a letter he wrote to Muchipara police station in which he wrote that the accused had come to the IMA office in Kolkata with a few other individuals and got himself clicked.
This time, the police HQ, Lalbazar is going to file a case of attempted murder in the name of Debanjan Deb. According to Kolkata police sources, a case under Section 307 may be filed against Debanjan in Alipore court. A special investigation team was formed on Friday. According to sources, a case of attempted murder will be filed against Debanjan, the main accused in the case. Police claim that the way in which another “solution” was being offered in the name of Covishield or Sputnik V, could have posed a terrible threat to people. There could be extreme consequences in this case. It could have been fatal.
The police arrested three associates of Debanjan Deb in the vaccination case on Saturday. They will be taken to Alipore court on the same day. That’s when the application for enforcement will be made, according to Kolkata police sources. The police do not usually apply Section 307 in cases of fraud.
There are very few such instances in the records of Kolkata police. However, the police do not have the experience of such a horrible incident. Lalbazar wants to apply this section keeping in mind the importance of the complaint.