Five days after the racket of unauthorised ambulance service at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) was busted with the arrest of three miscreants, police are scanning call record details of the security personnel and the staff deployed at the mortuary.
In initial investigation, the police have learnt that the staff was a part of the nexus that helped in the racket and were paid `1 a km for the vehicle they helped the unauthorised operators in hiring.
To date, 12 unauthorised vehicles, plying illegally as ambulances that charged double the normal fare, have been impounded and three people have been booked for cheating and criminal conspiracy.
‘HOW MANY INVOLVED REMAINS KEY QUESTION’
A police source said the call record details will help the department zero in on the number of security guards and mortuary staff involved in the racket. He added this would be used as evidence, also claiming that at least Rs 500 was given to the staff each day in lieu of arranging patients for the two gangs that were part of the racket.
BOARDS OF AMBULANCES REMOVED
A police source also told HT that the staff had also removed boards of the ambulances run by organisations like the Red Cross that listed the contact number and rates to help the racket thrive. “Staff at the PGI participated in the racket by only giving out contact numbers of the scamsters,” said a police source.
Sector 11 SHO Narinder Patial said, “The police will request the PGI to fix boards of various services with rate list at different departments of the institute. We will also request that the PGI set up an information centre on campus to prevent this sort of fleecing of patients.”
‘PGI AMBULANCE SERVICE NOT FOR FAR-OFF PLACES’
Another reason that the police claim led to the thriving of the racket was PGI’s inability to provide ambulances to far-flung areas. The police have claimed that Mann, alias Fauji group, operated during the day and another group led by one Satti operated this illegal business at night. They did not allow any other private taxis or ambulances to even enter the PGI.
SHO Patial added that they had sought details from the State Transport Authority(STA) on whether the impounded vehicles had been registered under the commercial category. “We have also asked whether these vehicle had taken permission to use the blue beacon,” the SHO added.
The SHO added that with other private operators not resisting the scamsters, the racket ran without any competition and were even emboldened enough to expand. Finally, the racket came to light after a private ambulance driver from Himachal was not allowed to park by bouncers and goons. It was on a complaint from the taxi driver that the racket caught the attention of the police. “We verified his allegations and nabbed three touts,” the SHO added.
RACKET RAN WITHOUT COMPETITION
The SHO added that with other private operators not resisting the scamsters, the racket ran without any competition and were even emboldened enough to expand. Finally, the racket came to light after a private ambulance driver from Himachal was not allowed to park by bouncers and goons. It was on a complaint from the taxi driver that the racket finally caught the attention of the police. “We will not name the complainant. We verified his allegations and have nabbed three touts,” the SHO added.