In the second such incident in two months, an unidentified woman who voluntarily helped mothers of newborn babies at Jharkhand’s biggest state-run hospital, Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), was seen stealing a one-day old baby and fleeing the spot on Friday morning, police said.
Her escape with the child was captured in the hospital’s CCTV cameras, and police have launched a hunt to nab the woman.
Gopal Srivastava, the deputy superintendent of the hospital in state capital Ranchi, confirmed the incident and said police were investigating the case.
The mother, identified as Arza Khatoon, a resident of Kuttam Village in Silli, has been inconsolable ever since her child went missing.
“The woman was shuttling from one bed to another at the gynaecology ward, playing with the children and helping mothers bring water and change nappies for them. In the process, she came to my bed and tried to get friendly. Early this morning, as I fell asleep, she apparently sensed the opportunity and fled with my child,” the sobbing mother told police.
Khatoon was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday and she gave birth to a boy on Thursday. She was shifted to the ward later in the night. The gynaecology department generally remains overcrowded with patients lying on the floor and even accommodated in the corridors.
“We have taken possession of the CCTV footage and are trying to find the culprit,” said Bariyatu police station officer-in-charge, DK Srivastava.
Police said they have managed to get some vital clues and assured that they would be able to recover the child soon.
This was the second incident of child theft at the RIMS in as many months. On March 1, a woman from Hazaribagh who pretended to be helping mothers of newborn babies, decamped with a one-day old baby girl of a woman named Urmila Devi hailing from a Pithoria village in Ranchi.
Police swiftly recovered the child on the second day of the theft from a Hazaribag village.
Despite an alert security system in place, it becomes extremely difficult for hospital authorities to keep a check on all the people entering the wards as the patients pour in 24x7 from far-flung areas along with their relatives who convert the hospital into a temporary shelter.