Five cops suspended for giving VIP treatment to scam accused

Five policemen have been suspended in Odisha after a businessman arrested in connection with the multi-crore mining scam in the state allegedly managed to give the slip from a government-run medical college hospital and enjoyed the comfort of a hotel booked in his brother’s name.

The police personnel — four constables and one hawildar — had escorted jailed businessman Deepak Gupta from Keonjhar, the district headquarters town of tribal dominated Keonjhar district to Sriram Chandra Bhanja (SCB) medical college hospital in Cuttack for treatment early this month.

Gupta, the prime accused in the more than Rs 1,800 crore Ulliburu mining scam in Keonjhar district, which had figured in the Shah Commission report, was nabbed by the crime branch of the Odisha Police in September last. Since then he had been lodged in the Keonjhar jail. 

A government-run district headquarters hospital in Keonjhar had referred Gupta to the Cuttack health facility for treatment for different ailments. After his arrival in the coastal town on February 8, he was reportedly enjoying the comfort of a hotel in the town at regular intervals though he was officially admitted to the hospital.

Interestingly, after the matter was reported by the local media, the authorities in the Cuttack Medical College Hospital hurriedly discharged the businessman on Monday.

Investigations by local media both in Keonjhar as well as Cuttack revealed that since his arrest in September, Gupta had spent majority of his days in the two government-run hospitals in both the towns.

Sources in the home department said that an internal inquiry had already been ordered. “The Keonjhar Superintendent of Police has already placed the five policemen escorting Gupta to Cuttack under suspension. We are trying to ascertain actually how many days he had spent in the hospitals since his arrest. More importantly on whose order he was being taken to the hospitals in regular intervals,” said an official.

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