Odisha cops suspended for VIP treatment to mining accused


Bhubaneswar: Five policemen were suspended Tuesday in Odisha’s Keonjhar district after they allegedly provided VIP treatment to a man arrested in an illegal mining case. The opposition BJP later slammed the government over the VIP treatment.

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Among the suspended policemen, one is a havaldar and others are constables, District Superintendent of Police Kavita Jalan told IANS.

The policemen were suspended after they allegedly allowed Deepak Gupta, an accused in a multi-crore-rupee mining scam, to stay in a hotel instead of a government hospital.

Gupta was admitted to the Sriram Chandra Bhanj Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack Feb 8 after he complained of illness. During his treatment, he allegedly stayed in a hotel for a few nights where a room was booked in someone else’s name.

The policemen were meant to guard him and ensure that he did not escape. However, they did not inform their superiors that Gupta stayed in a hotel, said Jalan.

“They were suspended for dereliction of duty,” Jalan added.

Terming the suspension of the policemen as mere eyewash, Bharatiya Janata Party state unit chief spokesman Suresh Pujari said the incident has more behind it than what meets the eye.

“An accused cannot enjoy such a comfortable life without the help of top officials and ruling party leaders,” he told reporters.

Gupta was arrested by the state vigilance department in September 2013. He was sent to jail after his bail plea was rejected.

Pujari said Gupta avoided the major part of his stint in jail by moving from one hospital to another on health grounds.