A resident of Bhayander has been booked after a WhatsApp message in which he alleged mismanagement by the local municipal corporation in handling the pandemic, was widely shared.
Inspector Sampatrao Patil of Navghar police station said that the accused, Sanjay Thakur, was bereaved after his son died by suicide in September. “For the purpose of conducting a post-mortem, the body of the deceased was taken to Pandit Bhimsen Joshi Hospital in Bhayander. The hospital authorities had informed the family that the deceased had tested positive for Covid-19,” Patil said.
In the text message last week, Thakur said a huge “scam” was underway at the hospital operated by the Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation (MBMC). Thakur alleged that the corporation was forcibly admitting people who had not tested positive to the hospital on the basis of fabricated reports.
“When a patient passes away, the hospital claims they have died of Covid-19 and do not give the body to the family. The hospital then removes organs from the bodies and profits from it. This has happened to me and I don’t want anyone else to fall prey to this sca-m,” Thakur wrote in the message. He also urged people to resist getting tested by civic health workers visiting their homes.
But MBMC health officer Dr Pramod Padwal said there was no truth to Thakur’s claims. He added that the corporation was forced to file a criminal complaint as Thak-ur’s message had been shared widely. The complaint registered claimed that Thakur’s message had defamed the hospital and created an obstruction in the corporation’s efforts to tackle the infection. So far, 603 people have died of Covid-19 in Mira-Bhayander and more than 19,500 people have tested positive.
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