Another baby stolen by woman in burqa


TOI, 16-11-2010 12:50:55


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MUMBAI: Even as the Bombay high court on Monday afternoon was coming down heavily on the BMC for the spate of baby-stealing incidents that have been occurring in municipal hospitals, another baby was stolen from a BMC-run primary health centre in Govandi. The two-month-old, Sahil Ansari, was stolen from his eight-year-old brother, Mohammed, who was taking care of him while his mother went out to buy medicines.

Sources said that around 3.30 pm on Monday, a burqa-clad woman approached Mohammed with a ten-rupee note and asked him to buy her a paan while she looked after his baby brother. "Ten minutes later when Mohammed returned, she was gone," said a police officer from the Shivaji Nagar police station. "But Mohammed was unable to describe her features since her face was veiled."

Investigations are on as to how the woman managed to steal the infant when the security guard was on duty at the primary health centre. "We are finding out whether the centre has closed-circuit television (CCTV)," the officer added.

Additional municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar said this case was similar to the one at the V N Desai hospital in Santa Cruz a few days ago. Here too, the mother had given the baby to his sibling, from whom he was stolen.

"After the Santa Cruz incident, we put up posters everywhere, asking people to be wary of handing their baby to strangers. People need to be alert in the wake of such situations," Mhaiskar said.

In the past two years, three babies have been stolen from municipal hospitals as was pointed out in the Bombay high court on Monday, which was hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by Mohan Nerurkar. Nerurkar’s four-day-old son was stolen from Sion hospital’s maternity ward on January 1, 2009 when his wife Mohini went to the rest room.

The HC had in May 2009, framed guidelines to ensure safety for patients in civic and government-run hospitals. The court came down on the BMC for not implementing these guidelines. However, counsel for the BMC Anil Sakhare told the court that the BMC had implemented them in most of its hospitals like Sion Hospital, BYL Nair Hospital at Mumbai Central, KEM hospital at Parel, Rajawadi hospital at Ghatkopar, Bhagwati hospital at Borivali and KB Bhabha hospitals at Bandra and Kurla.

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