Arrest of a 40-year-old woman who allegedly stole a newborn girl from Satna district hospital on Monday could lead the police to a larger racket active inside government hospitals.
The woman identified as Mira Singh alias Shehbunisa was arrested on Monday evening after the two-day old baby girl was recovered from her house near Bhalla Dairy Farm in Kolgawan area.
The baby was born to 28-year-old Priyanka Devi Bharti, a native of Bhabhua-Bihar, whose husband Dharmendra Bharti works at a factory in Mumbai.
The couple was on way to Bhabhua by the Mumbai-Howrah Mail train on Sunday, when Priyanka complained of labour pain. The couple deboarded the long-distance train at Maihar railway station in Satna, after which Priyanka was admitted at the maternity ward of Satna district hospital.
Priyanka delivered a baby girl on Sunday night, which went missing on Monday afternoon.
After the matter came to light, Priyanka and her husband Dharmendra told police that a fellow patient named Mira Singh was admitted on the adjacent bed at the same ward of the district hospital for around a week and had developed friendly relations with them since Sunday.
On Monday, Mira left with the newborn on the pretext of getting some medications for her, but didn’t return.
“When we checked documents at the hospital for tracking Singh, we found her case file missing. Subsequent checking of computerized records revealed her residential address in Bhalla Farm-Kolgawan,” Satna Kotwali in charge Raghvendra Dwivedi told Hindustan Times on Tuesday.
Mira and her partner Vikram Singh was picked up for questioning after the arrest. Mira is mother to a 10-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl.
Interrogation revealed that Mira’s real name was Shehbunisa, a resident of Koriya district of Chhattisgarh who has been living with Vikram in Satna since two years.
“She said she had stolen the girl child as two men had promised to pay her Rs 2 lakh in return for the child born to the couple from Bihar. We’ve arrested Mira alias Shehbunisa and produced her before court on Tuesday. The court has sent her on a day-long police remand. We’ll question her about possibility of her links to larger rackets involved in swapping newborns at government hospitals,” added Dwivedi.