jueves, 27 de noviembre de 2014 – 25 de noviembre 2014 – India

Tobacco banned in Chhattisgarh, not for factories linked to Health Minister Agrawal

Despite the sterilization camp deaths in Chhattisgarh linked now to tainted drugs, state Health Minister Amar Agrawal so far has Chief Minister Raman Singh solidly behind him. Others in the state are not surprised.

Agrawal’s family runs a flourishing business in gudakhu, a highly harmful tobacco product believed to be the biggest cause of oral cancer in the state, despite Chhattisgarh itself having banned manufacture, storage, distribution and sale of “tobacco and nicotine-containing gutkha and pan masala”. Both Singh and his minister defend the business saying it is “ancestral”.

In a residential colony in Agrawal’s home district of Bilaspur, which saw some of the sterilization deaths, stands the imposing Agrawal Gudakhu Factory. The premises also houscancee the registered offices of two other gudakhu factories run by the family — Bansal Gudakhu Udyog and Ajanta Gudakhu Udyog.

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