GUWAHATI: A study on bat virus conducted in Nagaland by Wuhan Institute of Infectious Diseases and Tata Institute for Fundamental Research was found to be done without the government’s approval.
The Centre in February last year had ordered an inquiry into the study of bats and bat hunters that was conducted in Nagaland in 2017. The government ordered inquiry into a study conducted in Nagaland by researchers from the U.S., China and India on bats and humans carrying antibodies to deadly viruses like Ebola.
The inquiry comes as officials worldwide grapple with the spread of novel coronavirus 2019, from Wuhan, China. The study came under the scanner as two of the 12 researchers belonged to the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s Department of Emerging Infectious Diseases, and it was funded by the United States Department of Defense’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). They would have required special permissions as foreign entities.
It is confirmed a Government inquiry into the joint research on Bat Virus in Mimi Village,Nagaland by Wuhan Institute of Infectious Diseases &Tata Institute for Fundamental Research was without proper Government prior permission. FCRA was violated. Inquiry Report is with Cab Secy— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) February 18, 2021
On Thursday taking it to Twitter, senior BJP MP and former union minister Subramanian Swamy said that the probe report has highlighted that the study was done ‘illegally’.
He tweeted: “It is confirmed a Government inquiry into the joint research on Bat Virus in Mimi Village, Nagaland by Wuhan Institute of Infectious Diseases &Tata Institute for Fundamental Research was without proper Government prior permission. FCRA was violated. Inquiry Report is with Cab Secy.”
Swamy alleged that the provisions of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) was violated when the study was conducted.
Although the study was conducted in 2017, an inquiry was ordered in February 2020 as two of the researchers were from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, an institute located in the city of Wuhan in China and believed to be the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.
A team from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) conducted the investigation.