Udaipur : In a first major crackdown against quacks, the Dungarpur police has seized over 50 clinics and arrested 67 persons found treating people and prescribing drugs without valid degrees in medicine. Though the police arrested them under preventive section 151 of the CrPC, official complaints against these accused are being lodged in different police stations by the medical department.
“We have been keeping a watch on the activities of suspected medical practitioners in the tribal and particularly slum areas and had prepared police station wise lists of such men. Under ‘Operation Clean Sweep’ 13 teams from the entire district held raids in such clinics and arrested 67 quacks in past two days” Dungarpur SP Jai Yadav told Udaipur Kiran. On Saturday, the medical department seized medicines and drugs and sealed several clinics that were run by the accused. Most of the accused were found to be residents of West Bengal and Bihar. Many people running similar fake clinics are reported to have fled after the operation, police said.
When authorities verified some of the credentials of the quack doctors, they were shocked to know that many of them were ordinary graduates, some had studied till school level while one was found to be a B.Sc in computers. ” Several quacks without having genuine medical degree are playing with the life of hundreds of gullible patients which is a serious crime The fake doctors are more active in the area, where there is a dearth of bonafide doctors.They are minting money by taking the innocent and illiterate villagers for a ride. The problem is more acute in the inaccessible tribal dominated pockets of the district” Yadav said. After the crackdown, the SP gave a detailed report of the operation to the collector who further instructed the Chief Medical and Health Officer (CMHO) to initiate legal action.
Quackery a punishable offense
Presently quackery is a punishable offense under sections 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) , 419, 420 (cheating), 465 (forgery), 338 ( injecting drugs causing damage to the body), and 471 (fake documents) of the Indian Penal Code. Indian Medical Degrees Act, Drugs and Cosmetics Act too have provisions to curb quackery practices though they are rarely used because lack of awareness in the public.