Shared Info On Syrup Deaths, Hope Delhi Will Act Against Culprits: Gambian Officer


New Delhi : The Gambia has shared information with India on its probe into the death of 69 children, allegedly following consumption of cough syrups manufactured by a Haryana-based company, and the authorities in the West African nation are hopeful that India will take action against the culprits, sources in the Gambian police said.

The incident has generated a lot of anger among the local people, they said.

Sources said the authorities in Banjul, capital of The Gambia, are also in touch with the Interpol, given the transnational nature of the crime. “Depending on the recommendations of the investigations team, action through the Interpol or between the governments (of India and The Gambia) will be decided,” the Gambian police officer said. “But we are confident of cooperation from India — the two countries have excellent relations. There is also a significantly large Indian community in The Gambia.”

A top police officer from The Gambia told The Indian Express: “Our investigations are still going on and multiple agencies are involved. It would be premature to say who is responsible since our probe is still underway. There is considerable anger in Gambia over the incident and people are holding protests everywhere. We are trying to get to the bottom of this.”

On whether the authorities in Banjul are in touch with their counterpart in New Delhi, the officer said, “We are in touch with Indian agencies and information is being regularly shared. As and when the investigation is completed, and culprits determined, full information will be shared with India. Whether the culprits will be prosecuted in Gambia is a matter to be decided between the two countries at the political level.”

Earlier this month, the WHO had raised a medical alert after it was found that a cough syrup manufactured by Haryana-based Maiden Pharmaceuticals had allegedly led to the death of more than 60 children in The Gambia.

The Union Health Ministry subsequently set up a four-member panel to examine the WHO reports, even as the Haryana government ordered a “complete stop” on the company’s production after finding that it violated good manufacturing practices and showed deficiencies in documentation during four inspections by drug control officials.


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