Student dies of prescription drug abuse in Coimbatore

Coimbatore District (Rural) Police arrest the owner of the pharmacy who supplied the youngster with the drug

Coimbatore District (Rural) Police arrest the owner of the pharmacy who supplied the youngster with the drug

Coimbatore District (Rural) Police on Sunday arrested the owner of a pharmacy in connection with the death of an engineering student who allegedly died of prescription drug abuse.

The arrest was identified as Muhammad Basheer (53), from Kumbakonam.

Police said Basheer provided painkiller tapentadol tablets to the late S. Ajaykumar (19), from Uthirakosamangai in Ramanathapuram district.

Ajaykumar was pursuing his second year BE in Civil Engineering at a private college at Othakalmandapam in Coimbatore. He was staying in his friend’s room and lately had not been attending classes regularly, police said. Ajaykumar was found vomiting in the bedroom around 5 p.m. on July 13. His friends rushed him to a private hospital from where he was referred to Coimbatore Medical College Hospital. However, he died before reaching the hospital. Madukkarai Police have registered a case and opened an investigation into the incident based on the complaint filed by Ajaykumar’s father, K. Soundarapandian. During the autopsy, Ajaykumar’s left hand was found to have needle sticks. It was discovered that he had injected a tapentadol solution into his veins. The student’s abuse of prescription drugs over a period of time deteriorated his health and ultimately led to his death, police said.

A police team led by Inspector Madukkarai S. Vairam found tapentadol tablets, used syringes and other materials in the room where Ajaykumar was staying.

“Basheer owns a pharmacy and used to provide prescription drugs to customers in different parts of Tamil Nadu. Ajaykumar had bought her painkiller tablets,” the inspector said.

Basheer was arrested for offenses under Section 304(2) (punishment for culpable homicide not constituting murder – if the act is done with knowledge that it is likely to cause death, but without any intent causing death, etc.) of the Indian Penal Code and two sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. He was brought before the court and taken into custody.

Coimbatore District Superintendent of Police, V. Badrinarayanan, has instructed personnel attached to all rural police stations to crack down on the abuse of prescription drugs and their illegal sale.

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