A bitter round of recriminations between the families of 19 cough syrup victims and the relevant authorities is threatening to keep the cause of the tragedy under wraps.
Akhtar Butt, president of the All Pakistan Wholesale Chemists Council (APWCC), said on Friday the government could not blame Tyno cough syrup for the deaths as the manufacturer, Ricko Pharma, was issued a licence after thorough examinations.
Speaking at a press conference at the Multan Press Club, Butt said that chemists had been selling the syrup for 30 years and received no complaint against it. He said the victims had used it for recreational purposes. Butt speculated that the deceased had mixed alcohol and other drugs with the syrup.
APWCC General Secretary Khalid Mahmood Khan said, “We demand the opening of all shops which have been sealed for carrying the syrup. Otherwise, we will organise demonstrations all over Punjab.”
Earlier, APWCC also staged a demonstration against the police crackdown launched on medical stores. Protesters raised slogans against the government and demanded justice. They said the government was crushing the pharmaceutical industry because of the actions.
Court grants physical remand
Meanwhile, a judicial magistrate, Waseem Anjum, granted a four-day physical remand for three accused people allegedly involved in selling Tyno cough syrup.
Shahdra Town police produced Muhammad Rizwan, owner of Ali Medical Store, Muhammad Fida, owner of Bismillah Medical Store and Muhammad Raoof, a distributor before the court, seeking a 10-day physical remand on a plea to investigate them. But the court only granted a four- day remand.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 2nd, 2012.