Udupi: Close on the heels of Udupi Deputy Commissioner Priyanka Mary Francis asking for a detailed investigation report on the Shankar Poojary case, Human Rights Activist Dr Ravindranath Shanbhag has submitted the same on Thursday.
In his report, Dr Shanbhag has presented the details of the entire case and concluded that the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India has to provide legal help.
Shankar Poojary, aged 39 years, a resident of Basrur, Kundapur Taluk left his native seeking employment in Kuwait in 2014. He was employed in Agricultural Food Products Co, KSC as a labourer and he used to visit India once in two years during his vacations.
However, in the year 2018, he visited India on the April 25 and stayed here for a period of two months.
On June 13, 2018, he took a flight from Mumbai and landed in Kuwait at 7 pm. After the immigration clearance, he was allowed to go out of the airport. When he was about to reach his residence he was followed and arrested by the Kuwait police. Initially, he was detained at the ai port and later he was shifted to Silaibia Public Jail, where he has been imprisoned at present. The crime was that Poojary was carrying stock of banned Ultracet medicine that he was supposed to deliver to an acquaintance named Thasleem Fathima, aged 45 years, residing in Kuwait. The pack was given by her son-in-law Mubarak, a resident of Udupi to Poojary. Shankar's efforts to seek help from Fathima only met failure.
On 29th August, Mubarak, a driver by profession, was interrogated. He accepted that he had purchased 210 Ultracet tablets from a medical shop at Udupi on 10-06-2018. He has produced a copy of the bill from the medical shop. He also accepted that he had given the packet of medicines along with the prescription and bill to Shankar.
How and why these problems became more complicated?
There are two problems, the first one is that the medical shop had dispensed the medicine in June 2018 on a prescription which was dated 9-4-2015. It can be noticed that someone had overwritten the date as 9-4-2018. The second problem is that the prescription is only for 20 tablets and the medical store had dispensed 210 tablets, the report documents.
Initially, in order to get a prescription of recent date, Mubarak approached a doctor at Kasturba Hospital, Manipal where Ms Thasleem Fathima was being treated in 2015. The doctor at KMC refused to give any prescription without personally examining the patient. Later, Mubarak approached another Doctor of a local nursing home at Udupi. Though the doctor refused initially, he later wrote a prescription dated 9-6-2018.
A copy of this prescription was sent by an enthusiastic social activist to officials of Kuwait Government. This must have created one more problem. How can the Kuwait police consider the authenticity of a prescription given by a doctor from India to a patient without physically examining and who was very much in Kuwait on the day of prescription?
What MADAD says about the case?
According to MADAD, the official website of Ministry of External Affairs “Shri Shankar Poojari is lodged in public jail of Kuwait (as on18-07-2018) on the charges of possession of Narcotic Substances. His family has been informed by the mission of further course of action”.
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