Bengaluru bed blocking scam:CCB Police arrest 2 BBMP Doctors and 6 other staff

Pramesh S Jain.Yogesh K Porwar

The Central Crime Branch police on Wednesday arrested four people in connection with the bed allotment scam.

While BJP legislators brought the alleged bed allotment scam to light,the Jayanagar police on Tuesday announced the arrest of a social worker and her nephew who are suspected to have contacts with BBMP war-room staff.

The accused,Nethravathy (40) and Rohith (22) who hail from Begur were caught after the police conducted a sting operation.A team,posing as relatives of a patient with COVID-19,and approached them for beds.

They would charge anywhere between Rs.20,000-40,000 depending upon the financial status of the person asking for a bed,said Harish Pandey, DCP,South.

The accused would circulate messages on WhatsApp offering to help patients to get beds. According to the police,they have contacts in the BBMP war room from where they get the allotment.

We also suspect that they have contacts within the private hospital network, which is being probed,Mr.Pandey added.

The Jayanagar police have registered a case of cheating and fraud.They suspect that more people are involved in the scam.

A case of fraud and cheating has been registered in Jayanagar station under fraud and cheating.There are more people involved and are being questioned,he added.

Considering the magnitude of the case,Bengaluru police commissioner Kamal Pant has handed over the case to the Central Crime Branch police for a detailed probe.

As the case was transferred to CCB officially by Commissioner of police Kamal Pant,on tuesday night next day the CCB held a high value meeting with officials to unearth the Nexus and nab all the culprits.

The legislator Tejasvi Surya visited Commissioner office to held a meeting and gave details about the scam to Commissioner of Police,Dr Tulasi M, was too present in a high value meeting called by MP,Sandeep Patil, DCP Crime-1 KP Ravikumar,with other officers were part of the meeting.

The CCB have Taken Dr.Rehan,South zone war room in charge into custody to question in details to ascertain the possible involvement of others in the racket.

The police have also arrested Dr.Suresh of Bommanahalli war room incharge,but since he is covid positive,police are not questioning him.

The two doctors among the four arrested by CCB in the racket.The duo would instruct the war room staffer Shashi Kumar to block and unblock the beds using the key IDs.

Chandan Kale,PSI of Jayanagar police station who initially probed the case and filed a complaint against the accused said that the accused would get the information about vacant beds across the city and using block thd beds in the name of covid patients who are home isolated and not even opted for the beds

The accused would then inform their contacts on the field who are in turn approach the people who are desperately looking for bed.

Once the deal is clinched the touts would then reach the hospital and alert the accused who would unblock the beds to facilitate the admission of patients who had paid them.

Using this modus operandi,the accused have blocked and unblocked the bed at Appollo hospital in Jayanagar on May 1 2021 in the name of home isolation patient to get the bed for patient identified as Chandrasekhar,a police officer said.

There are many people involved in the racket who are absconding.

The police are also suspecting the involvement of many private hospitals and questioning the accused to ascertain the identifies of such hospitals and their role.

Meanwhile the CCB officials are checking the records of the other war rooms in RR nagar, Mahadevapura,Yelahanka and Dasarahalli as part of the Investigation.

CCB Police teams conducted search operations across eight Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike war rooms in the city before detaining staff for questioning.As many as seven people, including two doctors,have been questioned.

Senior officer said,that it appears to be software discrepancies in the blocking and unblocking of beds.

Sandeep Patil,Joint Commissioner of Police,said two FIRs have been registered as part of the investigation.The identities of the arrested accused have yet to be revealed.

The arrests comes a day after BJP legislators uncovered an alleged scam in the BBMP South zone war room where beds were blocked and later sold.

CCB officials,who have taken over the case,have also taken custody of Nethrvathy and Rohith.

Many touts who are part of the racket who have switched off their phones and are on the run.Efforts are on to track them down to ascertain their involvement,a senior police officer said.

After BJP MP Tejasvi Surya’s big reveal on what he called a “bed-blocking scandal” in Bengaluru, blaming his own party-controlled civic body, a video has exposed shocking communal comments made in his presence against 17 Muslim employees at a Covid war room.

A video shows Tejasvi Surya, the Bangalore South MP, in the municipal Covid war room with three BJP MLAs, grilling officials. One of the MLAs with him is his uncle.

Mr Surya had alleged that a “nexus of BBMP officials and frontline health workers” is conspiring to “buy” these beds after snatching them away from people who were dying without ICU care.

BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) booking site says all beds are full. So many people are getting discharged,but the BBMP says all beds are booked. There is a nexus of BBMP officials,Aarogya Mitra (a frontline health service) people in hospitals and outside agents,” he said.

Mr Surya alleged the beds were being initially reserved in the names of Covid patients in home isolation who were unaware of the allotment.After they failed to show up for admission the bed was auto un-blocked, he said, claiming this had happened “in thousands of cases”.

BBMP officials would then,he said, find someone to “buy” the bed.

Beds at government hospitals, and at private hospitals that have reserved a certain number to be filled by the state, are allotted via requests to a centralised number.

This is the most disgusting thing that can take place in a pandemic,the BJP MP declared, adding that Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had promised action against those involved.