Within days of the expose of an adoption racket in the city,an 11-month-old baby was stolen from the government-run Sassoon Hospital here on Friday. The babys mother,Niru Vinod Gaikwad (32),lodged a complaint of kidnapping against an unidentified woman with the Bundgarden police station late on Saturday evening.
Police said Niru,a resident of Shivneri Gali,Kondhwa,had gone to the hospital around 9.30 am on Friday with her husband,who was injured in a mishap,and two children nine-year-old Sahil and 11-month-old Vedant. The family went to the out-patient department (OPD) of the hospital,where the staff asked Niru to get a case paper from the office. She left her husband on a bed and came out of the OPD.
A woman aged around 35 approached them then and picked up Vedant,saying she would wipe his running nose. Niru did not stop the woman from picking up the baby. She left the baby and Sahil there and went for getting the case paper, said sub-inspector Ashok Randive who is investigating the case.
Around 10 am,Sahil came to her saying that the unknown woman who picked up Vedant had taken him away. Niru called her relatives for help and they reached the hospital sometime later. Meanwhile,she also got her husband admitted to the hospital.
The police,on the basis of Sahils description of the woman,conducted a search of the hospital premises,railway station and bus depot,but could not trace her. Niru then went to the police chowki,where she was asked to wait for filing a first information report. She could not do so as there was nobody to take care of her husband at the hospital. Later on Saturday,she got her sister from Mumbai for help,after which she lodged the police complaint.
Randive said the woman who picked up Vedant was wearing a Punjabi dress but spoke Marathi. We have dispatched three teams in search of the suspect. We havent got any clues so far.
The incident has once again brought the security system at the hospital into focus. Sassoon Hospital dean Dr Arun Jhamkar,however,claimed that the security system was fool-proof. We have nearly 92 security personnel guarding the hospital. We are also investigating how this incident happened.