A seven-month-old baby, Vishwanath Kale, was allegedly kidnapped from Cama hospital near Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) on Wednesday by an elderly woman after she convinced the mother into allowing her to hold the baby.
This is the fourth such incident to have taken place in a city public hospital in the past three years.
The incident took place around 11.30am at the civic hospital’s out patient department (OPD), where the infant’s mother, Durga Kale, 20, had taken her son to get him treated for a severe skin infection.
The police said the accused, a woman in 60s wearing a red sari, started chatting with the Churchgate resident and offered to hold her child as Kale had to complete the OPD formalities. Kale handed over her baby and went to the counter. Minutes later, when she turned around, the woman had disappeared.
Kale called her husband, Murli, a ragpicker, who rushed to the hospital. The couple searched the premises before informing the hospital and filing a police complaint.
“We have registered a case of kidnapping against an unknown woman,” said Y Valanj, police inspector of Azad Maidan police station.
The CCTV cameras at the entry and the exit of the hospital — made mandatory by a court order — will be of no use in identifying the kidnapper as they are not working.
The hospital refused to accept responsibility.
“The mother was friendly with the kidnapper,” said Dr Rajshri Katke, hospital superintendent.
The Kales refused to speak to the media.