Liquid medicine tragedy rocks assembly

Bhubaneswar: Forty persons died due to consumption of poisonous liquid medicines added to liquor in the twin districts of Cuttack and Khurda, the health minister Prasanna Acharya today told in the assembly.

The debate in the assembly was rocked when the Leader of the Opposition Bhupinder Singh held the government responsible for the tragedy. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik left the house while the opposition and treasury benches were engaged in throwing charges at each other.

Earlier, Congress member Anup Sai alleged irregularities in searches conducted on the medicine factory and retail shops selling the drugs. The health minister said that 40 persons have already died in the tragedy in the twin districts of Cuttack and Khurda. The minister pointed out that there was an acute shortage of drug inspectors in the state who play vital role in drugs control. The minister clarified that letters have been issued to the Odisha Public Service Commission (OPSC) to start the process of recruitment of fresh drug inspectors while the finance department has been approached for special allocations.

The issue was also raised during the zero hour. The Congress demanded the resignation of the health minister.