Following the unearthing of a massive bed scam by BJP leader and Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya, the Bengaluru police on Tuesday arrested a Congress party supporter and her nephew for their involvement in the illegal allotment of beds to Covid-19 patients in Bengaluru in exchange for money.
According to the reports, the Bengaluru police arrested a 40-year-old woman Nethravathy, a Congress party supporter and her 22-year-old nephew, Rohit Kumar, for their role in the allotment of beds in return for money from the Covid-19 patients in the city. The police suspect that the accused had contacts with the BBMP war room staff.
The accused, Nethravathy and Rohith Kumar, who hailed from Begur and suspected to be having nexus with civic officials and certain private hospitals, were caught after the police conducted a sting operation. A police team, posing as relatives of a Covid-19 patient, had approached them for beds.
As per Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Harish Pandey, the accused used to circulate messages on WhatsApp offering help to Covid-19 patients to arrange beds. The police said that the duo had established contacts in the BBMP war room from where they availed the allotment. The duo would charge anywhere between Rs.20,000 and Rs.40,000 from the patients based on their financial status.
“We also suspect that they have contacts within the private hospital network, which is being probed,” Pandey added. A case has been registered against the duo in the Jayanagar police station. The case has now been handed over to Bengaluru’s City Crime Branch for further probe.
Accused has links with the Congress party
Interestingly, the arrested accused woman Nethravathy seems to have well-established connections with the Congress party. According to Asianet News, the accused in the bed scam had participated in several rallies and events organised by the Congress party in the last few years. In addition to that, several images expose her close links with the state leadership of the Congress party.
Here is an image in which the accused Nethravathy can be seen participating in a rally organised by the Congress party. Congress party supporter Nethravathy can be seen holding banners that feature images of Gandhi-scions – Priyanka and Rahul Gandhi.
In another image, Nethravathy was seen with KPCC working President Eashwar Khandre.
Reportedly, the accused has also links with Congress leader and Chamarajpet MLA Zameer Ahmed Khan.
Nethravathy, who is now arrested for her involvement in the BBMP bed scam, had also wished Jayanagar MLA Sowmya Reddy for her birthday recently. Interestingly, the Jayanagar constituency falls within the Bengaluru South Lok Sabha constituency.
So far, neither the Congress party nor the party leadership has not provided any clarification regarding the arrest of one of its party supporters.
The massive scam came to light after Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya, along with three other BJP MLAs – Satish Reddy, Ravi Subramanya, and Uday Garudachar had stormed into the BBMP war room in Bengaluru on Tuesday to expose the illegal bed-allotment nexus between civic officials and private agents.
The BJP MP had alleged that some officials in Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had joined hands with the touts to book hospital beds in the name of people under home isolation while selling these beds to other patients in need at an exorbitant price.
IMPORTANT Addressing issues of irregularities and anomalies in BBMP bed booking for covid patients in Bengaluru along with Bommanahalli MLA Shri. Satish Reddy, Basavanagudi MLA Shri. Ravi Subramanya and Chickpet MLA Shri. Uday Garudachar. https://t.co/mzjjiQq7AP— Tejasvi Surya (@Tejasvi_Surya) May 4, 2021
Addressing the press conference, Surya had said that there are enough beds in Bengaluru city. However, the war room personnel had been running a racket of false blocking the beds. They were then allotting those beds to the people in exchange for money. He added that there was a nexus between BBMP officials, Aarogya Mitra hospitals and private agents who were indulging in the said crime.
Further, Surya had questioned the hiring process of 17 individuals and asked about the agency that they belonged to. Some of the names he enquired about while confronting BBMP officials are Mansoor Ali, Tahir Ali Khan, Sadiq Pasha, Md Zayed, Alsai Saheer, Umer Khan, Salman Urif, Zameer Pasha, Zabiullah Khan, Sayed Hasnain, Sayed Shahid, Sayeed Shahbaz, Md Yunus, Syed Mohin and Syed Mukesh.