Odisha: Missing infant rescued, 2 detained

Addressing media, Balasore SP Sagarika Nath said the case is under investigation.
Representative Image.
Representative Image.

BALASORE: Police detained two women on Monday, including an ASHA for allegedly stealing a one-day-old baby boy from the Mother and Child Care Ward of Fakir Mohan medical college and hospital (FM MCH) here. The baby has also been rescued.

The ASHA was identified as Kumari Sandhyarani Patra, wife of Prafulla Kumar Jena from Kullachada within Baliapal police limits. The other woman was Sandhya Patra, wife of Krishna Patra from Santia village within Jaleswar police limits. Both women are residents of Balasore.

Based on a complaint filed by the infant’s mother Anita Dandapat and her family, police are investigating to determine the exact motive behind the baby’s abduction.

Addressing media, Balasore SP Sagarika Nath said the case is under investigation. “The detained women are being questioned, and legal action will be taken based on the findings,” she added.

According to sources, Anita, wife of Purnachandra Dandpat, delivered a baby boy on Saturday night. Both mother and child were moved to the mother and child care ward for further treatment. On Sunday afternoon, while Anita’s parents were fetching water, Sandhya Patra approached Anita, claiming the baby needed a mandatory vaccine.

Sandhyarani Patra, who was accompanying Sandhya, also suggested Anita hand over the baby. Trusting them, Anita complied, but the women did not return with the baby. When Anita’s family returned and found the baby missing, they confronted Sandhyarani, but she left without responding.

The family immediately filed a complaint with the police outpost on the medical campus, demanding immediate action.

Police launched an investigation using CCTV footage, confirming that a woman took the baby from the ward. A case was registered under sections 363 and 120-B of the IPC.

A police team led by Balasore Sadar SDPO investigated and rescued the baby from Sandhya, who had kept the baby at her house. The incident caused unrest among the family and other hospital visitors, who criticised the authorities for poor security and cited regular occurrences of theft and missing children.

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The New Indian Express