Lakhs of people gathered in Kumbh 2021 (Photo: English)
Kumbh was organized in Haridwar from April 1 to 30 and during this nine agencies and 22 private labs conducted about four lakh tests. The state department also conducted tests through government laboratories.
New Delhi. A big fraud has come to the fore in the Kumbh held in Haridwar, Uttarakhand. A media report has claimed that during the Kumbh at least 1 lakh investigations were faked. A media report quoted a private agency as saying that in the investigation of several samplings done during the Kumbh, it has come to the fore that hundreds of people were screened from the same address.
According to the Times of India, the addresses given on many phone numbers were fake. In one case reportedly, more than 50 people were registered using the same phone number, while 700 samples were tested with an antigen test kit. According to TOI, an official said, “The addresses and names were fictitious. About 530 samples were taken from ‘house number 5’ in Haridwar. Can more than 500 people live in one house? Weird addresses have been given. House No. 56 Aligarh, House No. 76 Mumbai.
He said that the phone numbers were also fake and people from Kanpur, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and 18 other places were given the same phone numbers. Dr Arjun Singh, health officer of Kumbh Mela said that the agency had to deposit these collected samples in two private labs, which are also under investigation. State Health Secretary Amit Negi, taking cognizance of the huge irregularities in the investigation, said that the investigation report has been sent to the Haridwar DM and many irregularities have been found. Negi said, ‘After getting the report from the DM in 15 days, we will take action.’
Payments of agencies stopped- DM HaridwarOn the other hand, as per the order of Haridwar District Magistrate C Ravi Shankar, the investigation is going on and the payments of all the agencies have been stopped till further notice. According to media reports, an official said – the sample collectors appointed by the agency were not professionals. He was reportedly a student and data entry operator from Rajasthan who had never been to Haridwar. The sample collector has to be present to collect the sample. When we contacted the registered sample collectors of the agency, we found that 50% of them were residents of Rajasthan, many of whom were students or data entry operators.
The media report quoted the investigation as saying that ‘a sample collector was a registered man in a skill development training program at a government authorized center in Hanumangarh (Rajasthan). On enquiry, he told that he had never been to Kumbh. He was given the data, who was asked to upload it as a form of training. According to the report, some officials said that this is only the beginning. Eight agencies were assigned the task of testing after the High Court ordered 50,000 tests per day.