The sounds of 22-year-old Malasree screaming and crying jolted patients and nursing staff out of their sleep in Kolar’s KGF Civil Hospital in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
At around 4 am, Malasree woke up to check on her one-day-old baby boy, but could not find him.
Panicked and distraught, Malasree began crying. “Where is my baby? Did you see him? Did the doctors take him for a check-up? What happened?”
But the nurse she questioned had no clue, and immediately informed the Medical Superintendent Dr Fayaz Khan. And even though the staff looked everywhere, the baby could not be located.
“My mother brought me in here when I went into labour on Thursday night. I delivered my baby at around 7 am on Friday. Everyone in my family was so happy. The doctors had said that I need more time to recuperate and so they said it would be best if I stayed in the hospital for a few more days before being discharged. I was shifted to the general ward after the birth and my baby was sleeping right next to me. I had been taking two-hour naps before checking in on him,” Malasree says.
At around 2.30 am on Saturday, she woke up to check on the baby boy. She breastfed her son, put him to bed and fell asleep.
“I decided that he would sleep next to me in case he cried or needed something. At around 4 am, I woke up to check on him, but he was not there. I can’t believe that I only got to be with my son for one day. I realised only then that the hospital does not have any proper security. There are so many women who come here when they go into labour. There was no one to watch over the patients here. How can they be so negligent?” she cries out.
When the hospital staff could not locate the baby boy, they went through the CCTV footage of the lobby and found one suspicious-looking woman walking out, carrying a huge bag.
“The hospital has only one CCTV camera near the entrance and we can see the lobby from it. There is only one entrance to the hospital. For now, based on the CCTV footage, no one stepped in and out of the hospital between 1 am and 5 am except for one woman with a big bag,” say the Robersonpet Police, who is investigating the case.
Upon interviewing the patients who were in the general ward and Malasree’s husband, Ravi, the police found that a woman in her 50s, who was not related to any patient in the hospital, had been seen wandering around the hospital and talking to patients who had just delivered babies.
“No one thought it was strange because she was speaking to so many patients. They assumed that she was someone’s relative. The people in the general ward said that she had specifically spoken to those who had delivered babies. However, further investigation will reveal more,” the police say.
The Robertsonpet Police have registered a case of kidnapping against the unidentified woman and have launched a search operation for the baby boy. Police said that this was the first time such an incident had occurred at the KGF Civil Hospital.