Parents Allege Baby Swap in Hospital
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17 April 2009
By Vijay V Singh
The future of a day–old girl hangs in balance with the BMC and a woman–who had checked into a civic–run maternity home–trading charges
Over her parentage and she refusing to feed the infant.
The Jogeshwari woman and her husband claimed on Wednesday that the girl was not their child and had been swapped by the staff at the Oshiwara Maternity Home; they added that a boy was born to them on Wednesday evening. Civic officials, however, denied that the babies had been swapped but the couple, Mohammad Sartaj and Resham Bano, were not willing to accept the baby. Bano, in fact, has now refused to feed the child, though initially she agreed to do so following a request from the police.
Sartaj claimed that a ward boy had informed him that his wife had delivered a son. “The ward boy came out of the operation theatre and showed me a baby boy and asked me for sweets. But after some time, doctors told me it was a girl child,” he told TOI. Sartaj then called the police.
The maternity home denied the charge, saying 11 babies were born in the hospital on that day; seven were boys and four girls. Cooper Hospital medical superintendent S Gawde said, “Let the police investigate the matter. We are also conducting our internal inquiry.” Officials said they had requested for installation of CCTV at the maternity hospital but nothing had happened so far.
Bano corroborated her husband’s version; doctors at the OT told her that she had delivered a boy, she said. She was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday afternoon and delivered the child around 6 pm.
Senior police inspector Kiran Sonone of the Oshiwara police station said, “We received the complaint and recorded the statement of the people concerned. We have asked for a DNA test to establish whether Sartaj and Resham Bano are the child’s parents.”
Hospital staff struck work for some time, claiming that a police officer had manhandled the ward boy who had interacted with the couple, but withdrew their agitation after senior officials intervened.