Police have decided to slap stringent Uttar Pradesh Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986 against 10 people arrested for allegedly selling fake blood platelets to attendants of dengue patients in Prayagraj city, a senior officer said on Sunday.

The decision came two days after joint teams of Kotwali police and special operation group arrested 10 people for allegedly running a fake platelets racket in the city and amid the death of a 30-year-old contractor, who reportedly was transfused fake platelets during treatment of dengue at a private hospital.

According to the police, the 10 accused also included some students preparing for various competitive examinations in the city.

The accused committed the crime in an organised way, said Prayagraj senior superintendent of police (SSP) Shailesh Kumar Pandey, adding that action against them will be taken under the stringent gangster Act.

“Their call details are being scanned and we will also take action against others, if any, whose names will surface during the investigation of fake platelets racket,” the SSP said. “The accused have been sent to jail after being produced before the magistrate.”

The accused have been identified as Raghvendra Singh alias Rahul Patel, Sunil Pandey, Sarfaraz, Dilip Shukla, Pradeep Kumar Patel, Yogeshwar Singh, Praveen Patel, Vikas Kumar, Abhishek Kumar and Dilip Patel, the SSP had said after their arrest on Friday.

Police have claimed that Raghvendra, Sarfaraz, Sunil Pandey and Dilip Shukla — all of whom worked in a private laboratory — were the kingpin of the racket.

Explaining the modus operandi of the gang, the senior officer said the accused used to purchase 350-ml plasma pouches from blood banks. “They then pack 50 ml of plasma in smaller pouches and paste stickers of blood banks, before selling them as platelets to attendants of patients for 3,000 to 5,000 per pouch,” the officer said. “They were aware that it is hard to differentiate between plasma and platelets.”

The other six gang members, mostly students living in rented apartments and preparing for competitive examinations, would get 500 for sale of each packet of fake platelets, police said.

Interrogation of the accused has revealed involvement of many others in the racket, the senior officer said.

“During the probe, the accused told us that one Ajay used to procure plasma with help of one Pradeep Maurya, a hospital staff,” another police officer said, requesting anonymity. “Both are absconding. Their arrest would reveal if staffs at blood banks were also involved in the racket.”

Police have also claimed that gangs were active outside blood banks of several Prayagraj-based hospitals, including SRN and Beli hospitals. “Platelet pouches seized from the accused carried the stamp of Beli hospital,” the second officer said.

Meanwhile, the manager, doctors and staff of the Global Hospital — which was sealed on October 20 amid allegations that contractor Pradeep Pandey was transfused mosambi (sweet lime) juice instead of blood platelets — are still absconding, police said.

“Investigations have revealed that they had fled even before Pandey’s wife Vaishnavi got a case registered against them at Dhumanganj police station,” said the SSP. Police are waiting for forensic report of platelet samples transfused in Pandey’s body.

“Those arrested in the fake platelets racket from the city so far had not supplied the platelets at Global Hospital,” the SSP said. “Those behind it are yet to be identified.”

By Shadab

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