CCB to probe hospital's role in ex-mayor's escape

CCB to probe hospital's role in ex-mayor's escape

CCB officials had questioned seven staff members of the hospital, including Dr Benjamin, who told them that he was busy with the Covid duties

Former mayor R Sampath Raj (wearing a white facemask) upon his arrest in Bengaluru on Tuesday. DH PHOTO/PUSHKAR V

The mysterious disappearance of former mayor R Sampath Raj from a private hospital in Hebbal has come under the Central Crime Branch (CCB) scrutiny. 

Though the discharge summary notes that Raj was discharged on October 14, the bed reserved for his treatment was not allocated to anyone until October 20. 

Police will probe why the bed was not allocated to another patient especially when the city is facing a severe shortage of beds to treat those with Covid-19. Raj was first admitted to the hospital in September and discharged on October 3. He was once again admitted on October 4. 

On October 7, Assistant Commissioner of Police B R Venugopal issued a written instruction to the hospital, asking it to inform the police whenever Raj was discharged. 

Dr Dominic Benjamin from the hospital had replied to the CCB on the same day that the hospital would comply with the instruction. But it reneged on the guarantee. 

CCB officials had questioned seven staff members of the hospital, including Dr Benjamin, who told them that he was busy with the Covid duties.

On October 14, CCB sleuths had asked the health department to form a panel to check on Sampath Raj’s health status and submit a report.

“We strongly suspect the hospital’s role in Raj’s escape, which will be probed,” a police officer who's part of the investigation told DH.