A local court in Bengaluru granted bail to Dr Rehan Shahed and Sashikumar, nearly a month after their arrest on the suspicion that they were involved in a COVID-19 bed blocking scam. The court's orders came as an embarrassment to the police as it said that the police are yet to present any material evidence or explain exactly how the scam happened. Dr Rehan, who was a nodal officer at the BBMP's south zone COVID War Room, was relieved of his charge on May 4 and arrested hours after BJP MP Tejasvi Surya and three BJP MLAs conducted their infamous raid on the facility, claiming that they were busting a bed allocation scam. The court also granted bail to data operator Shashi Kumar who was another accused in the case.
The order by Additional City and Civil Sessions judge B Venkatesha says that the police lodged the complaint against Dr Rehan and data operator Shashi Kumar “assuming that the war room staff maybe taking money while allotting beds to needy patients by way of blocking beds in the names of COVID patients who were in home isolation.” The court noted that no such evidence has been placed to show from whom the accused received money while blocking beds as alleged by the police. The court said there is no ground to believe there is a prima facie case against the accused as no specific complaint has been made by any citizen saying that the accused demanded money for allotting a bed.
All 16 Muslim employees of Bengaluru’s South Zone War Room on COVID-19, who were asked to leave after Tejasvi Surya read out their names and thundered who hired them to an IAS officer, have been reinstated by the BBMP. A lawyer who has been in touch with the employees told TNM that the other 5 do not want to go back as they found the entire experience traumatizing. The BBMP has told the agency that hired them that they can be taken back.
During the BJP raid, Tejasvi Surya had singled out 16 Muslim men from the War Room staff of over 200, implying they were behind the scam, and raged against BBMP officials for appointing them. In the video of the incident, which had since gone viral, Basavanagudi BJP MLA Ravi Subramanya, Surya's uncle, was heard saying, "Is this a madrasa?" Ravi Subramanya can also be heard asking if "they (Muslim staffers) were recruited for a corporation or a madrasa".