Pune : The Pune police crime branch unit on Saturday arrested five persons for running an illegal Oxytocin bottling plant in the Lohegaon area of Pune city. Officials from the Food and Drug administration (FDA) Pune said that the raw material required to run the Oxytocin plant is most likely being supplied from Pakistan and Bangladesh.

“As far as Saturday’s action is concerned, we suspect that these accused have some links with neighbouring countries Pakistan and Bangladesh for timely supply of raw material for the production of illegal Oxytocin,” said a senior official from FDA Pune. Senior officials from FDA Pune confirmed that earlier, they had found Oxytocin bottles being sold and supplied to Maharashtra by bottling plants based in Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. The raw material used in these bottling plants was also provided by Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The accused have been identified as Samir Anwar Kureshi, 29, from Uttar Pradesh; Bishbjeet Sudhanshu Jana, 44, from West Bengal; Mangal Kanallal Giri, 27, from West Bengal; Satyajeet Mahesh Chandra Mondal, 22, from West Bengal; and Shrimanta Manoranjan Haldar, 32, from West Bengal. Pune police crime branch unit 1 officials said that they got a tip-off about the illegal Oxytocin bottling plant operating out of Kalwad vasti, Lohegaon, Pune city. After verification, the police along with FDA officers, raided the premises and seized 290 boxes containing Oxytocin vials and ampoules worth ₹ 53 lakh and arrested five persons.

Dinesh Khivasara, assistant commissioner, FDA Pune, said that dairy owners inject cattle with Oxytocin to get excess milk instantly. Instead of providing cattle with quality feed, the animals are injected with Oxytocin for quick release of milk from their udder which is an illegal practice. Furthermore, the hormone is harmful for human beings as well. According to the Animal Welfare Board, a substantial part of the Oxytocin injected into cattle could be seeping into their milk and children are most susceptible to its effects. Oxytocin is known to impair both hearing and eyesight and results in exhaustion and loss of energy. Unfortunately, people do not know that the milk they are consuming has Oxytocin; there can be problems such as neonatal jaundice and eyesight and gastric problems. It can also lead to puberty, Khivasara said. Oxytocin is a natural hormone which causes the uterus to contract. Oxytocin is used to induce labour, strengthen labour contractions, control bleeding after childbirth, or induce abortions. Oxytocin is a hormone used to help induce or continue labour and control bleeding after delivery. It is sometimes also used to aid milk secretion during breastfeeding, according to Khivasara. As per the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, the indiscriminate use of Oxytocin is a punishable offence. The Act states that “If anyone injects a milk animal with any substance to improve lactation which is injurious to the health of animals, he shall be fined ₹ 1,000 or jailed for up to two years or both. The animal shall also be confiscated by the government.”

A case has been registered at the Vimantal police station under sections 328 (causing hurt by means of poison), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 175 (omission to produce document to public servant), 272 (adulteration of food or drink intended for sale) and 274 (adulteration of drugs) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and further investigation is underway. The police have invoked the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act in this case.