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Morgue key to missing baby

The needle of suspicion in the ongoing probe into the mystery of the missing stillborn baby at the RG Kar Medical College and Hospital has swung towards the morgue staff.

Investigations carried out by the state health department and police have confirmed that the doctors had, indeed, handed over a dead male baby, weighing 1.4 kg, to the morgue staff. On October 15, however, when Bachchu and Moujhuri Pal went to the morgue to claim the body of their child, they were told it was missing.

“We are examining the role of the morgue staff and they are being thoroughly interrogated about what happened to the dead baby,” deputy commissioner of police (north) P. Ravi said on Thursday.

Health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra, too, stressed that the body had been handed over to the morgue and had gone missing from there.

Trouble broke out at the hospital on Wednesday after the couple lodged a complaint with the hospital authorities that despite repeated requests, the baby’s body was not being handed over to them. Police on Thursday collected all documents connected with the case and interrogated doctors and nurses.

Around midnight on October 12, an eight-month pregnant Moujhuri was rushed to RG Kar Hospital in a critical condition. Immediately after delivery, doctors informed Bachchu about the stillborn baby. The attending doctors told him that there were two options — he could collect the body from the labour room itself, or collect it later from the morgue. Bachchu opted for the latter and before leaving the hospital, signed a document stating “… a dead male baby was born to the couple…”

During inquiry, four signatures by doctors, including one by the on-call emergency doctor, confirmed that the dead baby was handed over to the morgue. A dom had even signed a receipt that the body had been handed over to the morgue.

“Our inquiry has clearly revealed that the body was handed over to the morgue by the doctors, but we don’t know what happened from there,” said Basudeb Banerjee, principal of RG Kar Medical College and Hospital.

The probe team is looking to tie up “several loose ends”, including why the couple had waited till October 15 to lodge a complaint about the missing body.

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