HYDERABAD: Punjagutta police, who had registered a cheating case against a man named Prashanth after he took Rs 1 lakh from a Covid-patient’s family in exchange for allotting a bed at NIMS Hospital, are yet to trace him. The patient’s son had transferred the amount to Prashanth via GPay. The police are also probing if Prashanth had any connections with the hospital staff.
According to sources, this is not a stray incident; patients and their families are being extorted for beds by rackets that run deeper. Prashanth, who is a person with disability, also works for a private business run by a senior employee at the hospital, sources confirmed. The police are looking into this aspect as well.
Medical Superintendent of NIMS Dr N Satyanarayana told Express that after rumours of such irregularities, the matter was taken up seriously and an inquiry was ordered. Based on the findings of the inquiry, a complaint was lodged and a case was registered, he said.
“The police are probing Prashanth’s connection to the hospital. Strict action would be taken against persons involved in the activity, in addition to proactive measures to prevent such incidents in the future,” he said.
Reportedly, after the issue came to light, Prashanth switched off his mobile phone and went into hiding. Sources confirmed that attempts to reach him through his family also did not yield any result, as he is maintaining distance from them.
Police officials say that only Prashanth can reveal the full details of the racket. “It is still not clear whether he pulled this off by conniving with someone at the hospital, or if he was working as an agent for an insider,” they said. They are also verifying the technical aspects related to Prashanth’s calls and movements to dig deep into the nexus.
It may be mentioned that the victim of the crime Krishna Reddy had brought his mother to NIMS for Covid treatment, and had paid Rs 1 lakh to Prashanth for a bed. He later found that only Rs 1,000 was paid to the hospital. Suspecting foul play, he complained to the superintendent.