The owner and the manager of hotel Capitol Residency at Ranchi’s station road were booked for allegedly offering room to Tej Pratap, former Bihar health minister and son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, on Thursday evening, police said.
The FIR was lodged against them at Ranchi’s Chutia police station on a written complaint of circle officer (CO), Ranchi, Prakash Kumar. In his complaint, Kumar said that when he visited room no-507 of the hotel around 9 pm on Thursday, Tej Pratap was found staying there, which was a violation of the government order during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Officer-in-charge of Chutia police station Ravi Thakur said, “Hotel manager Dushyant Kumar and the owner have been booked under sections 188 and 34 of Indian Penal code (IPC).”
He said hotels have not been permitted to operate in Jharkhand yet amid the pandemic. “In such a case, they cannot offer rooms to anyone. It is a violation of lockdown rules,” he said.
Pratap was in Ranchi on Thursday and met former Bihar chief minister and his father Lalu Prasad Yadav at Kelly’s bungalow located in the premises of Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS). Yadav is undergoing medical treatment there. An accused in the fodder scam, the RJD president was serving jail terms and has been admitted to RIMS since December 2018 for the treatment of is critical illness.
Pratap told media persons that he met his father to enquire about his health and discussed political issues as well. Before meeting Lalu, Pratap underwent rapid antigen test and was allowed to meet his father after testing negative for SARS-Cov-2.
When Jharkhand RJD president Abhay Singh was contacted for his comment over FIR, he said, “I have no official information of any such development. As far as I know, Tej Pratap had left the city on Thursday night.”
State BJP spokesperson, Pratul Shahdeo, however, alleged that the hotel owner was made a scapegoat, as the government did not dare to take any action against Tej Pratap who openly flouted the lockdown norms.
“Over 60 vehicles entered the city with the RJD leader. A large contingent of party workers from Bihar and Jharkhand accompanied the leader in an open violation of social distancing and other Covid-19 norms in the hospital and around the city, but the administration took no action. To save its skin, the police filed FIR against the hotel owner. It should be probed under whose pressure did the hotel owner give a room to Tej Pratap,” Shahdeo said.
Reacting to the development, the federation of Jharkhand chamber of commerce and industries (FJCCI) office-bearers said the FIR was uncalled for. “Hotel owners know that offering rooms to anyone during lockdown is a violation of Covid-19 protocol. But, the situation for them turns tough when leaders like Tej Pratap seek room. The administration should take care when any such leaders come to Ranchi,” said Dheeraj Taneja, FJCCI general secretary.