Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital (SGMH) in Rewa town, considered the biggest government hospital of the Vindhyan region in Madhya Pradesh, is in the news for all the wrong reasons. On Friday, a married woman was gang raped allegedly by three men and just a few hours later Rewa Central Jail inmate Balindar Singh, a high-profile kidnapper from Bihar’s Aurangabad district, escaped from custody from the orthopedics ward of the same government hospital. All this happened within 24 hours.
A 35-year-old married woman from adjacent Sidhi district, who complained chest and stomach-related problems, was admitted to the hospital for clinical investigations on Thursday. She alleged that at around 10 pm three men told her at the surgery ward on the second floor that she must see a doctor for check-up upstairs. When she was going upstairs, the three men aged between 20-25 years allegedly dragged her to the terrace on the sixth floor and gang raped her. Two of the accused are suspected to be safai staff at the hospital. After the crime, they left her downstairs and threatened to kill her if she made the matter public.
It’s, however, difficult to understand why the woman didn’t cry for help when she was being forcefully taken by the accused trio to the terrace. According to Civil Lines police station in-charge Umesh Marco, the matter was reported to the police outpost at the hospital around 11.30 pm, after which a case of gang rape was lodged against three unidentified men. Two men have been detained for questioning in the case, added Marco. He, however, remained tight-lipped about two of the accused being safai staff of the hospital.
While in the second case, 41-year-old Balindar, admitted for treatment of spinal ailment, escaped early in the morning. Accused of several high-profile kidnappings across the country, including the December-2004 early morning kidnapping of Indore-based automobile dealer Kailash Baheti, Balindar was admitted at SGMH on Thursday under the single jail guard custody, owing to shortage of police personnel at Rewa police lines and guards at the Central jail.
“We’ve suspended the warder Rajendra and a case has been lodged in this connection with the Civil Lines police,” Rewa Central Jail deputy superintendent RP Mishra said.
Balindar, who was sentenced to life by an Indore court in the 2004 Kailash Baheti abduction case in 2007, had escaped from police custody in 2012 also, while he was being taken from Rewa jail to Indore for production in case. He was arrested from Bihar many months later and later shifted from Rewa jail to Jabalpur and Ujjain central jails from where he was shifted to Rewa central jail in December 2014.
Balindar, part of the Ajay Singh inter-state kidnapping gang of Bihar, was involved in several kidnappings across the country. Besides the 2004 Kailash Baheti kidnapping case, he was also involved in the kidnapping of a premier jeweller’s wife from Rajasthan in the past.
After kidnapping Baheti from Indore in December 2004, Balindar had demanded a ransom of Rs 5 crore for the aged businessman’s release. He had kept Baheti at several places including Wardha (Maharashatra), Delhi, Kharagpur, Ranchi and Jharsuguda (Odisha). The elderly businessman was finally rescued alive in a joint operation by Indore police, MP STF and Chhattisgarh police near Raipur 35 days after the kidnapping. Four men, including Balindar, were arrested.
KIDNAP KING FLED FROM CUSTODY IN 2012 ALSO
A native of Pataudhi village in Aurangabad district of Bihar, Balindar is the key member of the inter-state Ajay Singh gang.
Besides being involved in several kidnappings in Bihar and Jharkhand during late 1990s and early 2000s, Balindar was involved in at least three big kidnappings in Rajasthan, Kolkata and Indore.
In 2003, Ajay Singh and Balindar along with their aides kidnapped a family member of the owner of a major battery making company in Kolkata.
In February 2003, Balindar, Ajay and their aides kidnapped Sumedha Durlabhji, wife of a famous Jaipur jeweler, from the Rajasthan University campus. Seven persons were arrested in that case. Ajay was sentenced to life by a Jaipur court in 2009.
After Ajay’s arrest, Balindar started operating the gang, which kidnapped Kailash Baheti in Indore in 2004.
Balindar, who demanded Rs 5 crore ransom, kept Baheti captive at several locations -- including Wardha (Maharashtra), Lajpat Nagar (Delhi), Kharagpur (West Bengal), Ranchi and Jharsuguda (Jharkhand).
Baheti was rescued alive in the jungles near Raipur. Four men, including Balindar, were arrested and sentenced to life by an Indore court in 2007.
Balindar had escaped from police custody once in 2012 also while going for court hearing from Rewa to Indore. Arrested a few months later from Bihar.