Over two years after 14 infants died in Jammu & Kashmir after consuming a spurious cough syrup, the police are yet to file a charge sheet in the case that has striking similarities with the deaths of 66 children in The Gambia.

The J&K police have, however, assured that a charge sheet in the case would be filed in the next “10 to 15” days. “Within next 10 to 15 days, the charge sheet will be filed. It is in the final stages,” said Udhampur SSP Vinod Kumar.

The incident took place in Udhampur’s Ramnagar and Jammu’s Bishnah between December 2019 and January 2020. The matter came to light in January 2020, when the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) registered a case on the basis of a complaint filed by Jammu-based social activist, Sukesh Khajuria, in April 30, 2020.

Later, the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research tested 34 samples of the syrup, which linked the deaths to the presence of parabens and diethylene glycol (DEG) in the syrup. DEG has also been linked to deaths of children in The Gambia.

However, over 30 months after the incident, a charge sheet is yet to be filed. “The delay happened because disability certificates were pending when investigation was handed over to me in April last year… An autopsy report was also pending,” said an investigating officer.

By Shadab

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