Andhra Lokayukta questions state support to 'fish medicine'

Hyderabad, Jun 3 (IANS): Uncertainty looms over the annual distribution of fish 'prasadam' (medicine) for asthma patients here as the Andhra Pradesh Lokayukta Monday observed that the state government should not extend any help to the event.

It said since the fish medicine's scientific value was yet to be proved and it was being administered by private people, the government should not make any arrangements for it.

The Lokayukta also directed Hyderabad police commissioner and Exhibition Society secretary to appear before it Tuesday.

The ombudsman reserved its orders on a plea filed by Andhra Pradesh Balala Hakkula Sanghham, a body fighting for children's rights.

Achyuta Rao, president of the Sangham, told IANS that the orders would be pronounced Tuesday.

The petitioner questioned the government's action in making all arrangements for the gathering of people like supply of fish, security arrangements, water, sanitation and other facilities.

Lokayukta Justice B. Subhashan Reddy observed that the state government's action in permitting such a conglomeration and allotting public property not for any public purpose comes within the ambit of "maladministration" - an aspect triable under the Lokayukta Act 1983.

The Goud family of Hyderabad has already announced that it would distribute the fish medicine at Exhibition Grounds Jun 8 and 9.

Various departments submitted their reports to Lokayukta. Ranga Reddy district collector, in his report, informed that five acres of government land allotted to the family would be taken back.

The land was allotted a few years ago at Katedan on the city outskirts for the family to grow the herbs, whose paste is stuffed in the mouth of a 'murrel' fingerling before it is slipped through the patient's throat.

Thousands of people every year take the 'wonder drug' administered on the occasion of 'Mrigasira Karthi', which heralds the onset of monsoon. It is believed that if taken for three consecutive years, it cures asthma.

The family claims to be distributing the fish medicine free of cost for over 160 years. It renamed the drug as 'prasadam' a few years ago following controversies after some groups approached courts, seeking a ban on unscientific medicine.


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Title: Andhra Lokayukta questions state support to 'fish medicine'

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