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BENGALURU: The state government has suspended three doctors of the AYUSH Department, pending a departmental inquiry. The doctors had allegedly demanded a bribe of `10 lakh from a trust.

The suspension of the three — Dr Mohammed Rafi Hakeem, Dr Deepak Prabhu and Dr T K Dinesh — was recommended by the Lokayukta police. An official order in this connection was issued on March 25 by B Kamalamma, Under Secretary to Department of Health and Family Welfare.

Health Minister U T Khader revealed the development in the Council on Thursday when JD(S) member Basavaraj Horatti asked about the status of an FIR filed against the doctors.

The Lokayukta police had registered the FIR on March 4 after Dr Venkataramana Hegade of Nisarga Trust in Sirsi complained that the doctors were allegedly demanding a bribe of `10 lakh. Express had broken the story on March 5.

Programme Officer Dr Mohammed Rafi Hakeem, Planning Officers Dr Deepak Prabhu and Dr T K Dinesh, Department of AYUSH, Bengaluru, were interrogated by Lokayukta Inspector M N Ravishankar, on the directions of Lokayukta DIG Sonia Narang. An FIR was registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

However, the accused doctors later issued statments claiming innocence. Lokayukta police said the statements were acts aimed at misleading the investigation and that the doctors could be destroying evidence. Hence, Narang recommended that the doctors be suspended.

A Lokayukta police official told Express that a voice sample of the accused will be sent to the forensic lab soon as the complainant had also provided a recording of a conversation of the doctors demanding the bribe.

BDA Engineers in Lokayukta Net

Lokayukta police on Thursday arrested two engineers of Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) for allegedly accepting bribe to measure a site and submit a report to the Commissioner.

The accused are Assistant Executive Engineer Rudregowder and a Junior Engineer. The duo was caught red-handed while accepting a bribe of `1 lakh and `6 lakh, respectively at their office in R T Nagar.

The accused were allegedly harassing the complainant, who did not wished to be named, when he approached them for measurement of an alternative site allotted to him in HBR Layout 1st Stage, against the acquisition of his five guntas in Banaswadi. As per the procedure, the engineers should submit a report to the Commissioner after measuring the site. For this, they demanded `8 lakh as bribe.

Mohan Kumar, Rudregowder’s driver, was also arrested as the bribe was handed over to Mohan after Rudregowder accepted it, Lokayukta police said.

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