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Hyderabad NGO raided for hoarding oxygen cylinders | Published: 12th July 2020 | Posted Date: Sunday 12th July 2020 05:17 PM

Hyderabad: Thirteen distributors, a manufacturer and a non-government organisation, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, were warned against hoarding of oxygen cylinders while the Hyderabad police arrested a man for illegal possession of the medical devices.

The oxygen cylinders are in high demand as they are required for Covid-19 patients. There have been reports of blackmarketing of the cylinders at `30,000 apiece. The government had on Friday set up joint teams to inspect hospitals and dealers to prevent hoarding of oxygen cylinders.


Mohammed Omer, 34, was the only one found with oxygen cylinders while some of the others reportedly cleared their stocks as soon as they came to know of the raids. Omer had 24 oxygen cylinders at his house at Aruna Colony at Seven Tombs, which were seized.

The West Zone Task Force carried out the raid on the basis of information provided by the drug controllers. The Golconda police registered a suo motu case and arrested Omer

According to sources in the drug control department, the other organisations moved away their cylinders following an information leak about the impending action.

The inspection by drug controllers in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy district revealed that 13 distributors and a manufacturer had sold oxygen cylinders to ‘unknown persons’. There were no sales bills and stocks in the warehouse did not match with the books. On interrogation, it was found that they had supplied the oxygen cylinders to “unlicensed vendors on humanitarian grounds”.

Dr Preeti Meena, director of the TS Drugs Control Authority, said, “We have issued a warning to 13 distributors and a manufacturer for supplying oxygen cylinders to unlicensed vendors. This is medical oxygen and is under the category of drugs. It cannot be given to just about anyone. Hoarding these cylinders at home is a crime and any information that we receive will be passed on to the police for action.”

Meanwhile, there was criticism of the raids it would make it difficult to get oxygen cylinders from NGOs. While most of the NGOs claimed that they were giving the cylinders for free, and only collecting a security deposit, some people alleged that it had become a business.

Hamid Mohammed Khan of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind in Telangana state said, “We are providing oxygen cylinders to those who are needy. We don’t charge money, and we are doing this only to help the people. Drug Control officers have advised us to not handle these medical devices and asked us to connect with registered suppliers to facilitate the supply. If that has to be carried out, we will require support and co-operation from the government.”

Mujtaba Askari, president of Helping Hand Foundation, said, “Those who are working to provide support on humanitarian grounds must not be targeted as these social organisations are assisting them in getting the right care and providing support in terms of medical devices. This action targets them and they will be forced to withdraw which will leave many patients helpless.”



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