Two days after a three-month child was stolen from Indore’s Maharaja Yeshwantrao Hospital (MYH), the Sanyogitaganj police caught five people and handed over the baby to his parents.
Additional superintendent of police (East Zone-II) Bittu Sahgal said the five arrested people included Vinita Bais, 36, her 10-year-old daughter, Suman Sharma, 60, childless couple Ravi Alekar and his wife Vaishali.
But, police are in search of the middle man who allegedly introduced the accused to the couple who bought the child for Rs 1 lakh.
This was the second case of baby theft in a month at one of the largest government hospitals in the state. Soon after the incident, the Sanyogitaganj police registered a case under against the suspects and initiated an investigation based on the CCTV footage.
The child’s family came to the hospital from Sadalpur village under Susner block of Agar Malwa district for his father Kamal Dholi’s treatment.
In the hospital corridor, while they were waiting for their turn on Saturday, they met the three accused who introduced themselves as patients. They befriended Mamta and her family by sharing their problems, and stole the child.
Sahgal said the Alekar couple are childless even after 14 years of marriage, and Vinita had one lakh debt on her.
They came to a godman where both the parties struck a deal for Rs 1 lakh, the police said. Alekar paid the money to the middleman.
On Saturday evening, Vinita, Suman and 10-year-old daughter stole the baby and handed him over to the Alekar couple.
Acting on a tip-off, the police raided Alekar’s residence and rescued the child on Sunday morning. Alekar informed police about Vinita and Suman, who were later arrested from their houses.
Childless couple pleads innocence
Contrast to the police claim, the Alekar couple said as soon as they came to know about the child theft, they handed over the baby to the police.
“We are completely unaware about whole case. The police are treating us as criminal,” Vaishali said.
Vaishali said they met a godman who introduced himself as Anandgiri Maharaj from Vrindavan few days back. “On Saturday around 8pm, he handed over the child to us claiming that he got it from some ashram,” she said.
Vaishali said they “donated” the money for the ashram for welfare of other orphans. “We had no intention of acquiring others’ child paying money,” she said.
MY staffer under scanner
This is the second child theft at the MYH in a month, and the police are suspecting involvement of hospital staffers in the incident.
Sahgal said they were investigating how internal information of patients, particularly who are from outside, was leaked. It could be possible that some staffer may be involved in the crime, he said.
“We will discuss the matter with the hospital administration to solve the mystery,” Sahgal said.