West Bengal hospitals come under NIA, IB scanner

West Bengal hospitals come under NIA, IB scanner

Central and state agencies, worried about illegal influx of people from neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, have begun keeping a watchful eye on private hospitals in places like the growing medical hub at Mukundapur, in the southern suburbs of Kolkata, where such people come for treatment.

By and large, these agencies have kept lodges and guest houses in the area under the scanner, but now they have extended their surveillance to  private hospitals too.

 With the October 2 blast at Burdwan having taken both central and state agencies by surprise, the Intelligence Bureau (IB), the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the state CID are keeping an eye on areas which are visited by foreign nationals.

At least three leading private hospitals are on the radar of the IB and other agencies.

Sources said the CID has been in touch with the authorities of these hospitals to get the details of patients, particularly from Bangladesh. Officials said that while these hospitals receive patients from Nepal, Bhutan and even Pakistan, the maximum people coming for treatment are from Bangladesh.

A senior official pointed out that over the last 15 years, the state government has encouraged the development of a medical hub at Mukundapur.

“As a number of hospitals set up shop, a growing township of guest houses, tourist lodges and foreign exchange shops have come up in the area. Many of these lodges are not legal.

We’re now looking into these places to find out who stays in these places,” he said. While hospital authorities remain tight-lipped, sources in three of the hospitals pointed out that they have been approached by agencies asking for detailed information of patients visiting from Bangladesh and Pakistan.

“Scores of Bangladeshis visit us daily to receive treatment. Agencies want to know if some of them might have other intentions,” the administrator of a hospital under scanner said. He added that since 1997, hospitals have been providing such details to the IB.

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