When a five-day-old baby was taken from its mother at the RSRM Maternity hospital in Royapuram last Thursday, the new mother, Kalaiarasi was blamed for her carelessness.
The police are yet to trace the baby, which went missing from ward 13C, as the details of the baby-lifter are sketchy. On Wednesday, the police released the sketch of the suspect. Except for some basic information, nobody could provide specific clues. Some women in the post-delivery ward said the woman was slender, tall and clad in a yellow-embroidered sari but Kalaiarasi said she was wearing a “rose-coloured” sari.
Kalaiarasi alerted her mother more than half an hour after the baby was taken. The CCTV footage had recorded the departure of the suspected baby-lifter at 8.18 a.m. One of the complaints from visitors and patients is that police arrived half an hour after the woman had left the hospital.
Kalaiarasi’s case is the second such in the hospital in the past year. At the three maternity hospitals in the city, the police outposts are strategically positioned near the birthing rooms.
The Kasturba Gandhi Hospital for Women (KGH) in Triplicane has a police inspector and 11 policewomen on various levels. The government maternity hospital in Egmore also has 12 policewomen who are expected to attend to law and order problems in the nearby children’s hospital, too.
The policewomen must watch for suspicious movement of visitors and provide details about medico-legal cases to the police stations from where the patient has been admitted. While the hospitals in Egmore and Triplicane are equipped with wireless and phone, the RSRM hospital does not have a landline connection.
“If you want to reach us you can call the public phone booth inside the hospital. The hospital will inform us,” a policewoman here said. A request for landline connection has been made, the policewoman said.
The most common complaint that police handle at these maternity hospitals is loss of mobile phones and theft of cash/wallets.
With new buildings coming up in KGH, the maternity and children’s hospitals in Egmore, the police outposts here are gearing up for greater responsibilities.