Unearthing a fake drugs racket, the Orissa government has moved in to suspend a drugs inspector and arrest another five persons involved in the crime.
"T.V. Rao, a drugs inspector posted at the district headquarter of Bolangir has been suspended for his alleged role in the circulation of fake medicines," a state health department official told IANS.
Police had busted a spurious medicine-manufacturing unit Saturday at Kantabanji town in Bolangir district, some 400 km from here, and seized fake drugs worth over Rs.20 million from the unit.
"The region was under Rao's jurisdiction and he was supposed to check the illegal drugs activities. Police have also arrested five people, including Sankar Agarwal, the alleged kingpin of the drug racket," the official said.
"Police also raided medicine shops across the state and took samples to check if the fake drugs were in circulation in these stores. The state crime branch has now started probing the racket," he added.
About 22,238 people in the state have licences to sell medicines. Of them, 7,150 are medicine wholesalers and 14,051 are retail chemist shops.
Every year, as many as 500 new medicine shops open in the state, according to state Drugs Controller J.P. Mishra.
"The state has 30 districts and nine of them do not have drugs inspectors. We need the services of at least 100 additional drugs inspectors for regular inspection of chemist shops," he said.