BHUBANESWAR: A constable of the Police Commissionerate has been suspended on charges of dereliction of duty on Wednesday. The constable, Shankar Behera, was entrusted with secured transit of chit fund scam accused Pradip Sethy to SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack from Special Jail at Jharpada. On Tuesday, Behera was seen handing over a mobile phone to Sethy on the hospital premises and taking it back from him after the Artha Tatwa Group chief had a brief conversation using the device. The incident was caught on camera. After the matter came to light, DCP Satyabrata Bhoi ordered an inquiry which found the constable disobeying service rules and helping Sethy. Bhoi issued the suspension order after the inquiry reportwas out.
This is the second instance of Sethy using a mobile phone when out from prison. The first one was on the court premises in the Capital City. Such incidents occur frequently when some particular under-trial prisoners (UTPs) are involved, a senior police officer said. While similar incidents have occurred in the past, suspension of policemen has failed to act as a deterrent for lower rung cops in helping the UTPs. Contacted, Bhoi said, “An Additional DCP ranked officer has been directed to conduct a thorough probe into how these incidents can be prevented.” Sethy is being treated at the Mental Health department of SCB. The court had allowed him to stay in the hospital till August 28. However, doctors say he may have to undergo a minor surgery for which his stay has been extended.