The Pune Crime Branch busted a racket of illicit bottling and sale of Oxytocin in the city in which the hormone smuggled and peddled to be illegally used for increasing milk production of cattle.
The police have seized nearly 290 boxes containing a large number of Oxytocin vials and ampoules worth over Rs. 53 lakh in illicit market and have arrested five persons.
The accused have been identified as Sameer Qureshi (29), a current resident of Kalwad Vasti and who hails from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, Bishwajeet Sudhanshu Jana (44) and Mangal Kananlal Giri (29) both from East Medinipur District in West Bengal; Satyajeet Maheshchandra Mondal (22) and Shrimanta Manoranjan Haldar (32), both from South 24 Parganas District of West Bengal.
The Pune Crime Branch and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) together took an action.
The Anti-Narcotics Cell of the Crime Branch on Saturday received a tip-off that some persons were selling Oxytocin vials and ampoules to cattle owners in Pune and surrounding areas. The racket was operating from a shed in Kalwad Vasti in Lohegaon, police added.
A statement issued by the police in this regard read, “Drug Inspector Suhas Sawant has stated in his FIR that while Oxytocin is a key hormone for humans and has crucial usage during childbirth, its use in dairy animals has serious adverse effects on humans. Sawant has stated that consumption of milk from the animals which have been administered Oxytocin can possibly lead to hearing and visual impairment, digestive issues, serious complications in pregnant women and newborns, respiratory issues and skin ailments. Based on the complaint filed by Sawant, a case has been registered.”
The police have invoked Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act along with Indian Penal Code sections pertaining to 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) among others.