West Bengal Forest Minister Jyotipriya Mallick, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) early on Friday in connection with the alleged ration scam in the state, is recuperating at a private hospital in Kolkata, guarded by 10 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and two ED officials.
According to hospital sources, the minister has been admitted to the critical care unit (CCU) and his condition is said to be stable. “He is admitted at CCU in the main block which is on the first floor. His bed is kept at a distance from others and guarded by 10 CRPF jawans and two ED officials. No one is allowed to visit the state minister,” a source at the hospital told The Indian Express.
According to the source, Mallick, who has been given a “normal semi-solid diabetic diet”, is stable at the moment.
A senior Trinamool Congress leader, Mallick (65) was taken into custody by the ED under sections 19 and 3 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after he was interrogated for nearly 20 hours following searches starting Thursday on properties belonging to him and his associates.
He was later produced in a Kolkata court that granted his ED remand for 10 days.
The minister, who held the food and supplies portfolio from 2011 to 2021, fainted in the chief metropolitan magistrate’s court and even vomited before he was taken in an ambulance to a private hospital where he was admitted later. He told the judge that his blood sugar level was high and he had swelling in his feet.
The court ordered that though Mallick will be in ED custody till November 6, the period during which he will remain in hospital will be excluded from the remand period. The court also ruled that the hospital will set up a medical board within 24 hours and the minister’s lawyer can meet him for an hour every day.
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A medical bulletin issued by the hospital on Friday night said that the minister is being monitored closely. “Mr Jyoti Priya Mallick (66), a Minister in the Government of West Bengal, was brought to the Emergency Department of Apollo Multispeciality Hospitals, Kolkata, around 7.05pm with complaints of dizziness, nausea, vomiting and weakness of the left arm. The patient was evaluated by the Emergency physician and a team of consultants consisting of Internal Medicine, Neurology, Cardiology and Nephrology,” read the bulletin.
It further said, “On their advice, the patient underwent CT Scan, MRI and relevant blood tests. He has been admitted with an initial diagnosis of Hyperglycaemia, Renal impairment, Dyselectrolytemia and pre-syncope with a background of T2DM and Hypertension. The patient has been admitted for close monitoring and further evaluation. He is currently stable.”
On Friday, Mallick, while being taken to the CGO complex in Salt Lake, said, “I am a victim of a huge conspiracy. Suvendu Adhikari (Leader of Opposition in Assembly) and the BJP are behind this.”