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Sent back to hospital by her ‘parents’

Tragedy came full circle for 12-year-old Hameda Khatoon on Wednesday when she was back at the dingy children’s ward of Calcutta Medical College and Hospital, from where she had been taken “home” by a couple from Tangra only two months ago. Tortured and disowned by her ‘foster’ parents, Hameda, a cerebral palsy patient, has been languishing in the hospital for the past three days with nowhere to go.

Health department officials said on Friday that the hospital authorities were left with no option but to re-admit Hameda, when volunteers from city-based NGO CINI-Asha landed up around 1.30 pm on Wednesday with an ailing Hameda. “We had handed her over to a couple from Tangra in August after they promised to take care of her. But the harassed girl returned with injuries on her body,” observed hospital superintendent K.K. Adhikari.

The superintendent had written to the Juvenile Welfare Board about the girl. “We approached the board for handing over the girl to the Tangra couple when they produced letters from local MLA Debesh Das and councillor of ward 58 Lakshmimani Banerjee, in support of their claim. “Now the poor girl is suffering for no fault of her own,” Adhikari lamented.

Hameda was first admitted to the hospital on August 15 last year when a constable from the Burrabazar police station found her abandoned and took her there. Since then, she has been undergoing treatment.

“We were convinced when Mohammad Mazid and his wife Mabia Bibi approached us in August this year and identified Hameda as one of their daughters, missing since April 25, 1999,” said hospital social welfare officer Pranab Mukherjee.

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