Crackdown on middlemen in hospitals, RTOs continues in Odisha, 75 arrested

Bhubaneswar: As a part of a sustained campaign to weed out corruption and harassment, Odisha Police on Friday arrested 75 middlemen (dalals) who were active in several hospitals and offices of the regional transport officer (RTOs) across the State.

While 31 middlemen were arrested from the premises of various private hospitals, 44 middlemen were arrested from RTOs during the ongoing drive against such touts in Odisha. Earlier yesterday, 31 persons were arrested from different parts of the State on charges of luring poor patients from government hospitals to private hospitals and nursing homes.

The special drive against middlemen has been launched by Odisha Police ahead of the rollout of the mega initiative of Odisha government, ‘Mo Sarkar,’ on October 2, 2019.

“A drive against middlemen is underway and stern action will be taken against them,” said Transport Minister Padmanabh Behera.

Odisha DGP BK Sharma yesterday had directed Superintendents of Police of all districts to take necessary steps to arrest the middlemen who were active in various hospitals, medical college, blood banks, dispensaries and regional transport offices.

The officers have been asked to register cases against middlemen on the basis of evidence regarding cheating or harassment of people at such places.

Meanwhile, Odisha Sales Representatives’ Union today alleged that several medical representatives are being arrested by police after being branded as middlemen. The union has further threatened to stage demonstration if such practice continues.

“Under no circumstances, medical representatives directly interact or have links with patients. It seems that such drive is being launched only to please the government,” said Satyabrat Mohapatra, general secretary of the union.