On Thursday, May 6, Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant said on Twitter that a case of black marketing of hospital beds was discovered by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Central Division, MN Anucheth.
According to Commissioner Kamal Pantâ€™s tweet, a COVID-19 patient named Lakshmidevamma was brought to a private hospital in the city. However, ICU beds were not available in the hospital. Manjunath and Venkata Subbarao, who work at the hospital, along with Punith, who works as an Arogya Mitra in another hospital, allegedly extorted Rs 1,20,000 from the patientâ€™s son, Lakshmisha, in exchange for a bed.
A case of black marketing of hospital beds has been unearthed by the @DCPCentralBCP.
A patient Laxmidevamma who was diagnosed with #COVID19 was brought to a private hospital. Due to the non-availability of ICU beds in the hospital, 2 persons, Venkata Subbarao & Manjunath.. (1/3)â€” Kamal Pant, IPS (@CPBlr) May 6, 2021
Lakshmisha transferred Rs 50,000 through Google Pay and the remaining amount of Rs 70,000 was given in cash. Just a few hours after the bed was allotted, Lakshmidevamma died.
According to Kamal Pantâ€™s tweet, based on a complaint made by Lakshmisha, the three accused were arrested by the police, and a case was registered at the Sadashivanagar police station. He also said that further investigation is underway.
A police officer from the Sadashivanagar police station, under the condition of anonymity, revealed that the hospital where the incident took place was MS Ramaiah Hospital.
Just a day earlier, on Wednesday, the police had arrested four people in connection to alleged corruption and malpractice in allocating hospital beds through the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palikeâ€™s (BBMP) centralised bed allocation system.
The four accused were Rihan, Shashi, Rohit and Netravati according to the Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Sandeep Patil.
The arrests were made after the police started investigating, following an expose by BJP MP of Bengaluru South Tejasvi Surya that there was widespread corruption in the allocation of hospital beds and that BBMP and hospitals were creating a false scarcity of beds.
The cases that were originally registered in the south and south-east zones have been transferred to the Central Crime Branch as requested by the City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant.