Under guise of holding the newborn, pregnant visitor walks away with girl child at hospital

A five-day-old baby was stolen from her mother at RSRM Maternity Hospital in Royapuram on Thursday.

Kalaiarasi (21), who underwent a caesarean at the hospital, was resting with her baby in the general ward on the first floor. Around 8.40 a.m. on Thursday, a woman clad in a “rose-coloured” sari approached her. She appeared to be in an advanced stage of pregnancy, Kalaiarasi said.

The woman said she had come for a check-up and expressed a desire to hold Kalaiarasi’s newborn. At the time, Kalaiarasi’s grandmother was in the toilet and her mother had gone to buy breakfast.

“I let the woman carry my baby. She then asked if she could show the child to her husband who was waiting outside the ward. I agreed. But when she did not return after a while, I informed my mother,” Kalaiarasi said.

A frantic search along the corridor and in the hospital premises proved futile. The family, residents of J.J. Nagar in Korukkupet, filed a complaint with the hospital authorities who then informed the police. Kalaiarasi’s husband S. Ravi Kumar is an autorickshaw driver. The couple has a two-year-old daughter, Geetha.

For nearly four hours on Thursday, hospital authorities and the police scanned footage from the 21 CCTV cameras in the hospital. They identified the woman based on Kalaiarasi’s statement. “We have video grab of the woman’s entry and exit,” said deputy commissioner of Washermenpet, S. Maheswaran.

Last November, another such incident took place at the hospital. A woman who stole a newborn was arrested by the Royapuram police and the baby returned to its mother.

Last week, a woman filed a complaint with the police commissioner alleging that the hospital had given her just one baby though she had given birth to twins. The woman showed scan results that showed she was carrying twins. Investigation later revealed that the woman had delivered just one child.

In 2008, the hospital was embroiled in a controversy after a family claimed that the hospital had swapped newborns for money. A DNA test confirmed later that the complaint was baseless.

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