The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hospital for snatching babies, molesting patients

March 22: A woman enters the female ward and walks out with a newborn baby.

April 19: Two men enter the cold bed observation ward and molest two patients.

Welcome to RG Kar Medical College and Hospital.

A 30-year-old woman sneaked into the labour general ward on March 22 and made off with a baby. Seconds before boarding a taxi, she was caught.

The gynaecology department tried to hush up the incident, but hospital superintendent Pradip Mitra came to know of it.

Before the ink had dried on the probe order he had issued, around 10.30 pm on Tuesday, two men, in the guise of doctors, entered the cold bed observation ward ' for burn-injury patients ' and started to molest patients in bed numbers 14 and 15.

'Who are you, what are you doing here' shouted one of them.

Even that was not enough to dissuade the duo. The patients raised an alarm, attracting the attention of nurses, and the two fled. On Wednesday, a complaint was lodged with the superintendent.

'We have stepped up security, specially at night, and since I have received a complaint from the nursing staff, we are conducting a probe,' the superintendent said.

The assurances have not calmed the fears of patients in the gynaecology department about losing their babies.

'The woman did try to sneak out of the hospital with a newborn baby and had it not been for a few alert staff, she would have escaped. We are trying to find out how this could have happened,' Mitra added.

He said department officials did not press charges because the woman was a psychiatric patient.

The hospital is trying to find out whether any Group D employee had helped her enter or walk free after she was caught.

Events leading to the baby-snatch attempt show the woman had approached the infertility clinic of the hospital on March 16. 'She said she was childless. She was accompanied by a man, who she claimed was her husband,' a doctor said.

Using her outdoor treatment ticket, she walked into the first floor labour general ward, where she chose a woman who had just given birth to a boy.

'Can I hold your baby' I work here and can take your baby out for daily check-ups,' she told the mother. For the next few days, she did that until March 22, when she tried to walk away with the baby when the mother was asleep.

The guards stopped her when she was taking the taxi. 'Why don't you get the ticket attached to the baby's body removed' they asked. They escorted her to the gynaecology department where the nurses found out that the baby did not belong to her.

But she was allowed to go after some Group D staff reportedly convinced hospital authorities that she was a psychiatric patient.

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