The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Dead baby lost in hospital
- Ten days on, RG Kar fails to hand over body of stillborn boy

Death is not escape enough from the hospital horrors in Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s Bengal.

Ask Moujhuri Pal, 35, who was admitted to the maternity ward of RG Kar Medical College and Hospital on the night of October 12. Early next day, she gave birth to a stillborn boy.

Six hours later, when family members went to the hospital morgue to take away the body, they were in for another shock — the hospital authorities had no record of such a baby. The ordeal for the Pals of 1, Indra Biswas Road, under Chitpur police station, had just begun.

When a larger group of family and friends took up the matter with the hospital authorities later that Monday, they were asked to come back “in a day or two”, during which the stillborn child could be traced.

By Wednesday, the family’s agonising wait to retrieve the body took another tragic turn. The RG Kar authorities told them that the baby was nowhere to be found, but the hospital was not to blame.

“The body could have gone missing from the Nilratan Sirkar Hospital morgue, where it was probably sent for post-mortem,” a morgue official allegedly said, brushing off Bachchu Pal, Moujhuri’s husband.

The distraught family decided to take up the matter with the officials. A complaint was lodged with Chitpur police station and with RG Kar surgeon superintendent Chandan Sen.

“After the birth of the stillborn boy, the hospital authorities had completed all the required paperwork, following which we had gone to claim the body, only to be told that there were two babies, neither of which was ours,” complained Bachchu, a compounder with some medical units.

“They (morgue authorities) said the name of the baby might not have been registered yet. I went to check with the doctors in the maternity ward and they confirmed that the body had been sent to the hospital morgue… But even three days after we lost our son, there is no trace of his body.”

Now, it’s been 10 days since the body went missing from the morgue of RG Kar and the parents don’t know when they will find their child to bury him.

The Trinamul Congress local unit submitted a memorandum to surgeon superintendent Sen on Wednesday and demanded an explanation within three days. “A departmental inquiry is on and nothing can be said,” was what Sen had to say.

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