Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Sunday ordered an investigation after a photo purportedly showing a COVID-19 positive prisoner drinking alcohol inside a hospital ward in Dhanbad went viral.
One person tweeted the photo to the chief minister and he retweeted it directing Dhanbad Deputy Commissioner Umashankar Singh to probe the matter and take action against those who were responsible for the irregularity.
Singh said that the sub-divisional magistrate and the sub-divisional police officer concerned would carry out the investigation. "The chief minister has been informed of the progress of the probe," he said.
The man in the viral photo is seen pouring liquor in a glass from a bottle while sitting on a hospital bed while food items served in aluminium foil containers are in front of him. A handcuff is also seen dangling from his right wrist.
Katras police station officer-in-charge Ras Bihari Lal identified the man as 30-year-old Shantu Gupta, who was arrested on the charges of extortion on Thursday and was forwarded to jail.
As he tested positive for coronavirus infection, the police admitted him to the central hospital of Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL), which was converted to a dedicated COVID19 facility, on Friday.
The hospital authorities said they failed to understand how a bottle of liquor reached the patient amid tight security, and no doctor, nurse or attendant noticed him drinking it inside a ward.
Security of the hospital premises is the responsibility of the BCCL, sources said.