Agartala:The crime branch personnel of Tripura police arrested Rs 164 crore scam accused former left front minister and member of CPI (M) central committee Badal Choudhury last night in a private hospital surrounding by assembly house, civil secretariat and Raj Bhawan.
Choudhury has been absconding for last six days when a session court rejected his bail petition on October 16 midnight. He was disappeared from security cordon deserting his personal guard provided by the state police, which led to suspension of as many as 10 policemen including SP (West) and removal of DIG (Southern Range).
Tripura government has faced serious criticism for failure of it's police to nab him.The high court vacation bench yesterday heard his anticipatory bail petition but reserved the judgment.Meantime, 76-yrs old Badal Choudhury reportedly fell ill in the night and he accompanied by two women reached to a private hospital by hiring an auto rickshaw.
When he was taken to emergency, the plain cloth police deployed in the hospital identified him.
During admission procedure, police officially arrested him and shifted him to ICU with multiple complains. Choudhury had by-pass surgery twice and has been suffering from serious illness. The doctors attending him stated as critical and did not allowed police to talk to him.
In the midnight, his wife raised an objection that the doctors in the hospital was not treating him satisfactorily and called his advocates. A group of advocates went in the hospital and wanted to meet Choudhury and talk to his doctors but police allegedly did not allow them despite obtaining due permission from the hospital authority.
"Police most unprofessionally prevented us to meet Choudhury and we could not talk to thedoctor too, as some unknown person connected by an on duty police officer sought Wakalak Nama to get entered into the hospital, which is not only illegal also beyond the codified jurisdiction of police," said Choudhury's counsel Arindam Bhattacharjee.
He stated that law did not empower police to arrest a critical patient in the hospital bed but Tripura police arrested Choudhury and took him to their custody in the ICU. As a result, doctors and hospital management reporting his condition to police depriving his family members including wife. How can police do such illegal act when the accused is critical? Bhattacharjee stated adding to move in high court.
Hospital sources said Choudhury was admitted after he complained of chest pain."We are well aware of the sensitivity of the case and the IO as well as the senior supervising officials is monitoring the condition of the accused minute to minute basis", said police adding that police did not do anything that caused harm to Choudhury's health but he was put under arrest officially.
The CPI(M) leaders including former chief minister Manik Sarkar and party secretary Gautam Das had rushed to hospital and met him soon after his admission in the hospital besides, top police officials.
Earlier, another accused of the case retired chief engineer Sunil Bhowmik has been shifted to ICU of AGMC with high blood sugar and blood pressure. Allegedly, his health condition was deteriorated due to ill-treatment in police custody for three days. He is still in life support system and facing psychological trauma.
Bhowmik had sent initially to two days judicial remand on October 14 and then sent to four days police custody and he was again remanded to police by the court till tomorrow. Meantime, his advocates move to the court seeking his bail for better treatment and alleged that in police custody he was provided minimum amenities.
Allegedly, PWD department had invited expression of interest (EoI) for13 constructions works clubbing together amounting to Rs 638.8 crore on September 11, 2008 from PSUs and closing date of the bid was September 24. two days ahead of the closing date of submission of bid on September 22, 2008, the department invited separate EoI for the same work from private companies' extending the closing date for them up to October 17, 2008. And finally works were given to three private parties as lowest bidder at 35-47 per cent profit.
The FIR alleged that the entire process of awarding work and a note of then chief secretary Shashi Prakash have clearly indicated the corruption of Rs 164 crore without approval of the council of ministers.(UNI)