A 28-year-old woman who was arrested two days ago by police from the Hubballi-Dharawad twin cities in Karnataka for allegedly stealing a nine-day-old baby girl from a hospital was found hanging in a toilet in the Dharwad central prison, in a case of suspected suicide, in the early hours of Thursday.
The woman identified as Surekha Pratap Kawade, a resident of Dharwad and native of Davanagere had been arrested on January 26 for allegedly stealing a baby from the Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) hospital in Hubballi.
Surekha who stole a baby belonging to Anitha, a native of Ballari, by posing as a nurse had been caught in the act by CCTV cameras at the hospital and was arrested by the police on the basis of the visuals. Police found that Surekha who suffered two miscarriages, including one a month earlier, was desperate to have a child.
She visited KIMS earlier this week and introduced herself as a nurse to the mother of the baby to gain her trust before kidnapping the newborn. After her arrest on the basis of a complaint filed by the family of the child, Surekha was arrested and remanded to judicial custody. She was lodged in the Dharwad central prison since Tuesday but was found dead on Thursday morning.
“She hanged herself with her duppatta in a toilet and the incident came to light on Thursday morning. She was depressed over her arrest and misfortune. The Dharwad sub-urban police have taken up a case and a further probe is underway,” Panduranga H Rane, police commissioner of Hubballi-Dharawad said.