Drama after CCB raids hospital over expensive masks

Bengaluru: Drama after CCB raids hospital over expensive masks

People wearing masks has become a common sight across Bengaluru. A man is seen at a ticket counter at the KSR Bengaluru on Wednesday. DH PHOTO/IRSHAD MAHAMMAD

The medical director and CEO of a private hospital allegedly misbehaved with a policewoman when she tried to detain a staffer who was found selling face masks at exorbitant rates. 

The Central Crime Branch (CCB) raided Brookefield Hospital, located on ITPL Main Raod in eastern Bengaluru, on March 14 following public complaints that it was overcharging customers for face masks, which are selling like hotcakes over the Covid-19 scare. Since the salesperson was a woman, the CCB team called in Akshata Tikoti, a female constable posted at the jurisdictional HAL police station. 

Tikoti arrived at the hospital soon after. But as she tried to detain the saleswoman, the hospital's CEO, Dr Pradeep Kumar T J, came in the way. He stopped Tikoti, pulled the saleswoman by the arm and took her into a room where he locked her up. 

According to Tikoti, Dr Kumar misbehaved with the police and did not let them detain the saleswoman. The CCB team left the hospital without detaining the saleswoman and informed the higher-ups. An FIR was subsequently registered against Dr Kumar and the hospital staff for an intentional insult to provoke the breach of peace and assaulting government servants. 

The inspector of HAL police station said that while selling the masks at an inflated price was a criminal offence, they would not arrest the doctor in the wake of the coronavirus situation.   

DH tried to contact Dr Kumar for comment but his phone was switched off. 

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