Srinagar: Normal life was on Monday disrupted in Kashmir Valley due to a strike called by Medical Employees Joint Action Forum (MEJAF) against the alleged failure of government to bring to book those involved in the spurious drug scam.
Shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed due to the strike which was called on the opening day of the civil secretariat in Srinagar. Though most of the public transport remained off the roads, taxis, auto rickshaws and private vehicles were on the roads as usual.
MEJAF was formed in April at a joint meeting of doctors, paramedics, pharmacists and other health employees of Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Government Medical College and Associated Hospitals and Peripheral Health Care hospitals in the wake of the growing concern over spurious drugs in the Valley.
The forum had appealed to the people to observe a strike against the drug scam and demonstrate to the government that they can go to any extent to fight for this "social cause".
The forum has been demanding immediate sacking of former Health Minister Sham Lal Sharma from the cabinet, suspension of Central Purchase Committee members involved in the purchase of spurious drugs and analysis of all the drugs available in hospitals.
Kashmir has been rocked by protests over the sale of spurious drugs. The scam came to light when laboratory tests revealed that an antibiotic supplied to various hospitals contained zero amount of Amoxycillin against the claimed 500 mg and other tests showed traces of particulate matter in some medicines.
The forum claims that 11 drugs have been proved to be substandard and spurious in analysis carried out in various drug labs so far.