Matka queen's new quarters: Luxury room with sea view

Undertrial Jaya Bhagat, imprisoned since 2008 for murder of matka king Suresh Bhagat and infamous for hospital-hopping, has now been admitted to SoBo's plush Saifee Hospital, not state-run JJ, which is the norm for prisoners

The infamous matka queen, Jaya Bhagat, known for spending a majority of her tenure in jail hospital-hopping, has now checked in to the plush multi-specialty Saifee Hospital at Charni Road in South Mumbai. She was admitted in an AC room with a sea view and a TV on the 10th floor of the hospital last Sunday.  

Queen's view: Matka queen Jaya Bhagat was admitted at Saifee
Hospital in an AC room with a sea view and a TV on the 10th floor of the
hospital last Sunday. file pic

A week ago, Bhagat -- doing time at Byculla women's prison after being accused of orchestrating the murder of ex-husband matka king Suresh Bhagat in 2008 -- was taken to JJ Hospital after she complained of vomiting. While doctors could not diagnose the exact reason of her problem, they said she required a bariatric surgeon, as before being arrested, she had undergone a bariatric surgery at Breach Candy Hospital.

At Saifee's bariatric department, Bhagat is undergoing medical investigations as doctors suspect that her bariatric surgery has led to some complications. Sources at JJ Hospital said their surgery department had said that they did not have the facilities to treat Bhagat's post-operative complications.

When contacted, Dr Muffazal Lakdawala, head of Saifee's bariatric department, said, "She underwent a sleeve gastrectomy procedure, a weight-loss surgery. We suspect that some complication has arisen out of the surgery and we are investigating that. Her son had a similar complication and after we treated him, he has been doing fine." 

As per the rulebook, any prisoner complaining of ailments is first taken to the jail doctors and if they feel the need, the prisoner can be referred to a state-run hospital, which is JJ Hospital in case of Mumbai. Currently JJ Hospital has a male prisoners' ward while female prisoners are admitted in general wards.

In and out of JJ
For the first time, Bhagat was admitted for hyperthyroidism at JJ Hospital in 2010, after which the trips to the hospital continued. "Usually, prisoners come to the hospital faking illnesses and with requests of getting hospitalised unnecessarily. In Bhagat's case, she has been diagnosed of ailments in the hospital, but she never gets treated here," said a senior doctor from JJ, requesting anonymity.

In February 2011, Bhagat was diagnosed with multiple uterine fibroid along with neurogenic bladder (lack of bladder control due to nerve or brain condition). Her MRI reports confirmed the condition, but she did not agree to get treated at JJ. In the meanwhile, she had an angiography performed on her at Bombay Hospital. Last she was discharged from JJ hospital in May 2011, after which she has been getting treatment at the out-patient department.

Jaslok stint
Before being admitted to JJ hospital, Bhagat, on April 3, 2010, was admitted for six months at Jaslok Hospital where she was treated for various ailments. However, following a court order, Bhagat had to be transferred to JJ in October 2010. 

If sources are to be believed, even at Jaslok, she had enjoyed the luxuries like TV and AC, which raised eyebrows of many. Incidentally, two of Bhagat's relatives, who underwent bariatric surgery, had developed similar complications and were admitted to Saifee for treatment.

Deans says
When contacted, Dr T P Lahane, dean of JJ Hospital, said, "I am not aware about the case in detail," and referred this reporter to a senior doctor who had compiled a report on Bhagat's hospital stay. 

Said the doctor, requesting anonymity, "We have already written to the court that all facilities are available at JJ hospital and we have competent doctors to treat her. However if the patients do not cooperate in the treatment, we have to discharge them."

Several e-mails and phone calls to Dr Vernon De Sa, medical director of Saifee Hospital, elicited no response.

Nisar Tamboli, public relations officer for Mumbai police, said, "In this case, our investigations are done. It is only after a court order that a prisoner is admitted to the hospital, and the police have no role to play."

The murder
Matka king Suresh Bhagat was allegedly murdered by his wife Jaya, son Hitesh and five others in June 2008. The seven accused were booked under the Maharashtra Control Of Organised Crime Act, after investigations revealed that they had hatched a conspiracy to eliminate Suresh, but the MCOCA charges were dropped later.
According to the police, Jaya and Suresh were running two separate matka gambling operations in the city after they divorced. The murder conspiracy came to light after a dispute over earnings worth Rs 100 crore.

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