CUTTACK: The alleged baby swap controversy at the SCB Medical College and Hospital took the expected turn on Tuesday with the family filing a petition in the Orissa High Court seeking a DNA test to establish the parentage of the girl child in question.
The family has refused to accept the baby girl as their own since her birth on March 30 alleging that the child born to the mother Rashmita Mallik was a boy. The girl child has been put in the neonatal care unit for the last 11 days under the care of doctors. With the mother not being allowed to venture near the baby by the family members, the baby is being fed by other mothers, sources said.
The father, Sushanta Mallik, in his petition has also sought compensation for the mental agony suffered by the family due to the separation from their newborn baby by virtue of being victims of child swapping. They have also sought an inquiry into the matter.
The SCBMCH authorities on their part have stuck to their stance that there was no wrong doing in the matter and the allegations of child swapping were baseless. According to their own inquiry, there was no child born close to that of Rashmita in the labour room to enable baby swapping.
The inquiry report submitted to the district administration stated that Rashmita delivered a “term female baby weighing around 2,700 gm at about 5.25 pm through normal method”. However, the mother-in-law of the woman somehow got the notion that it was a baby boy and the ruckus ensued.
There has to be another delivery at the time so as to facilitate swapping. There was none close to Rashmita. It might have happened as such that the mother-in-law who was present could have misread the umbilical cord when the baby was laid down on the mother after birth, senior hospital administrator Col. Srikanta Mohapatra said.
Meanwhile, the District Child Welfare Committee members and the Advocates Committee on Tuesday visited the Obstetrics and Gynaecology department in connection with the well-being of the child. “It is a perplexing situation. The parents, who are not accepting the baby have not given anything in writing to the hospital authorities. As a result, the baby cannot be handed over to us for shifting to a childcare institution,” CWC member Rina Mohanty said.
The administration has announced bearing of all expenses through the Red Cross Society but the baby cannot be kept in the hospital for more than 42 days. The authorities would hold a meeting on Wednesday to decide on further course of action.