The light of dawn was beginning to break through, and in about half an hour, the relatives were to be allowed to enter the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to meet patients at the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGI). Inside the NICU, the nurses were waking up the mothers; it was time to feed the babies.
It was 5.20am when Gurdeep Singh, who was fast asleep in the corridor outside the NICU, was woken up by a phone call. "Where are you? Come inside immediately!" cried Gurdeep's cousin, Rajnesh.
Rajnesh was supposed to be nursing her baby boy who had been born 35 days premature and was thus under treatment. "'The baby is missing,' my cousin told me as I entered the NICU. She said she had just gone to the toilet after asking a woman on the bed next to her to take care of her child," Gurdeep told HT, "She said that when she returned, the baby was not there."
The hospital staff, including nurses, and attendants of other patients were also present there. "They asked me to go down and find the baby," added Gurdeep. "They also specifically told me to 'look outside'."
After searching in the other blocks of the Nehru Hospital, when he reached the open yard under the gastroenterology ward, he saw the baby lying in a pool of blood, an eye gouged out with the impact.
The baby was about to be discharged in a day or two after weeks of treatment as he had been born premature. "Everybody was waiting for the baby to come home," Gurdeep, a student of BA first year, said.
There was no enmity, he said, and "no, nobody could have stolen the child." Gurdeep, like everybody else, is clueless.As for the baby's mother, she has since remained in a semi-unconscious state, in a state of shock apparently. The PGI's internal security, the police, in fact everybody has tried getting her statement. But, she is mum.
The Sector-11 police station house officer, inspector Gurmukh Singh, admitted that the cops have no clue.The police have recorded the statement of the Nafe Singh, father of the dead baby, in which he did not suspect anyone.
Meanwhile, the body of the child was handed over to the family members after post-mortem, the report of which said the child died due to injuries on the head and other parts of the body.