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Bengaluru: BJP MLA's Aide Arrested in Bed Booking Scam Case

Babu is a close aide of Satish Reddy, the BJP MLA from Bommanahalli. They were with Tejasvi Surya earlier this month, when the MP stormed a COVID war room and communalised the bed allotment scam.

New Delhi: In a major embarrassment to the BJP, the central crime branch of the Bengaluru city police arrested an aide of its MLA Satish Reddy in connection with the COVID-19 bed booking scam.

Babu (34), who is now in the police net, had accompanied Bangalore South MP Tejasvi Surya, Bommanahalli MLA Satish Reddy and Chickpet MLA Uday Garudhachar when they stormed into a COVID-19 war room on May 4 and falsely blamed 16 Muslim employees for the alleged scam.

The Bengaluru Police said Babu was arrested on Monday for his role in blocking beds and selling them at a higher price to patients. He ran the racket through Nethravathy, a social activist, and Rohith Kumar, who were arrested by the police some time ago, the police added.

According to The Hindu, While Nethravathy and Rohith got customers for the beds through their WhatsApp network, Babu used to coordinate details of bed availability. Babu used to pay a commission to Nethravathy and Rohith while he kept the major share of the money collected from patients, which differed depending on each person based on their financial status, the police claim.

A few days before Surya’s ‘raid’, BJP MLA Satish Reddy and his supporters, Babu included, had attacked IAS officer V. Yashavanta at the same war room.

Also read: Watch | Bengaluru Bed Allotment Scam: Know the Full Story

The Bengaluru Police said they had examined the CCTV footage of the war room and had recorded the statements of staff members and doctors, which revealed the culpability of Babu. In addition to Babu, the police had already arrested five others: Nethravathi, Rohith, Venkat Subba Rao, Manjunath and Punith.

On May 4, Surya had read out the names of 16 Muslims working at the COVID war room and questioned their appointment and created a furore. He had alleged that hospitals in Bengaluru “blocked” beds with fake names to make money, at a time when there was a severe shortage of beds. He claimed that officials of the Bengaluru municipal corporation “colluded” with private nursing homes and hospitals to block beds and allocate them for exorbitant fees.

Tejasvi Surya, BJP draw flak  

In a series of tweets, Karnataka Congress leader Srivasta questioned if Tejasvi Surya is now willing to come forward to explain the latest arrests. He alleged that Surya’s ‘conspiracy’ is now being unravelled with the arrest of Satish’s associate.