The Gaharwar Committee, investigating the alleged fake COVID-19 tests conducted during the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar, said it had completed verification of around 60,000 phone numbers of visitors. During the grand religious event, these visitors were tested for coronavirus as claimed by the laboratories presently under the scanner. The Uttarakhand Police, who is also probing the alleged scam, said it is close to making the first arrest in the case in the next couple of days.
The probe committee led by the Chief Development Officer (CDO) of Haridwar, Saurabh Gaharwar, said that around 35,000 phone numbers are yet to be verified. The remaining verification process will take about ten more days to complete, the committee said, as reported by Hindustan Times. However, the CDO refused to reveal any further information on the case.
Fake and Fudged Data
The Gaharwar committee had earlier questioned the representatives of Mac Corporates Services, which had subcontracted testing to two laboratories, namely Nalwa Laboratories and Dr Lal Chandani Laboratories
The labs claimed that they had carried out 1.5 lakh COVID-19 tests during the mega festival in April. However, they have been accused of making up that figure with fake and fudged data such as contact numbers and Aadhaar card numbers.
SIT To Make First Arrest Soon
Meanwhile, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Haridwar district of Uttarakhand, which is also investigating the case, said it would make the first arrest in the next two days. One of the officers in the SIT, privy to the probe, said that they had gathered details after interrogating the accused involved and after examining the documents they have received. According to their findings, they are pretty sure a scam happened in the Covid-19 tests to siphon off money from the administration.
The official said that the SIT would soon make its first arrest in the coming days with the testing laboratories' accused. The senior superintendent of Haridwar Police, Senthil Avoodai K Raj, said the SIT is investigating all angles of the case by questioning different people involved, and the probe will soon be over.