A one-day infant girl has been allegedly stolen by an unidentified woman from Ranchi’s Rajendra Institute of Medical Science (RIMS), Jharkhand’s biggest state-run hospital.
Urmila Devi, the tribal woman who delivered the girl on Tuesday, has lodged a written complaint with the hospital administration and the police about the incident that occurred early on Wednesday.
A resident of Chardi village in Ranchi’s Pithoria block, Devi was admitted to RIMS on Tuesday afternoon with severe labour pain. She was immediately shifted to the labour room where she delivered a baby girl around 6pm.
Four hours later the hospital nurses shifted her to Gynecology-C ward. However, due to unavailability of beds, they put her on a floor bed.
Devi said in her complaint that at around 6am on Wednesday, a woman in salwar suit came to her and tried to get friendly with her.
“She told me that her son was also admitted in the same ward and somehow got pally with me. An hour later, we moved to the corridor with my child where I fed her. In between, she took my baby in her lap. I went into the ward to fetch my bag. Barely a minute later as I returned I found both the woman and my child missing,” she said.
Around two years back, a woman had accused the hospital administration of changing her newborn baby with another child. Incidents of women abandoning their infants after delivery at the hospital have also been reported in the past on more than one occasion.
“We have requisitioned for the CCTV footages from the hospital administration and expecting to get them by noon. There is no other easy way to locate the child thief,” local police station officer-in-charge, DK Srivastava, said.
Srivastava said since the woman has not recovered fully from the post-delivery complications, they have advised her to go home and take rest till they make headway in the case.
Other patients in the gynaecology ward have told police that the suspect was seen coming and moving out of the ward since last three days.
Sources said she had also tried to get pally with another woman, Nasima Parveen, who had delivered a baby on Monday. However, she strictly advised the stranger to keep away from her child as she tried to touch her and take her in her lap.
“We are going to deliver all CCTV footage to the police for proper investigation and identification of the child thief,” RIMS director Dr BL Sherwal said.