Runaway lovebirds’ first newborn ‘kidnapped’ from CHK

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KARACHI – The perfect love story of a runaway couple from Larkana, Ghulam Fareed and Jameela, was saddled with its first major test: their newborn son was “kidnapped” soon after birth from within the premises of the Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK) early on Tuesday morning.
The police have registered a case against unknown culprits, and till the filing of this report, the infant had been not recovered. Ghulam Fareed and Jameela had fallen in love about a year-and-a-half ago, and got married soon after they met – albeit against wishes of their respective families. The couple fled their village out of fear they will be declared Karo and Kari, and killed under that pretext.
After leaving their village, Fareed and Jameela headed to Hub Chowki, a town in the bordering area of Sindh and Baluchistan. Fareed took up a job as a labourer in a thread factory, and the couple began their happily-ever-after story. All was set till Monday evening, when Jameela’s labour pains started. Fareed first took Jameela to a private hospital in the town, but they referred her to Karachi on the assertion that her case was not of a normal delivery.
Since the couple had no elders or relatives in the town, Fareed requested a lady in the neighbourhood to accompany them to Karachi as he thought a female attendant might be needed in the hospital. Jameela was admitted to CHK’s gynaecological ward early Tuesday morning, and an operation conducted soon after. “Jameela was operated upon at 5.00 am, and the newborn was healthy,” Fareed told Pakistan Today.
A few minutes after the delivery, Fareed discovered that that his newborn son had mysteriously gone missing. “We don’t know much about the lady we brought as attendant. But she told us that after the delivery, a woman wearing a doctor’s apron came and asked her to take the baby for his first vaccination. When they reached the OPD, the woman took the baby from the attendant and disappeared,” Fareed said.
Jameela went unconscious after hearing the news, while the angry father raised a hue and cry in protest against the hospital administration. Officials suggested that he should contact the police. A case was subsequently registered with the Eidgah police, with the duty officer telling Pakistan Today that the police were hopeful of finding some clues regarding the missing baby.
Additional Health Secretary Dr Suresh Kumar rejected the notion that the newborn had been kidnapped – claiming instead that the unknown attendant might be involved in the case. “The family brought with them a woman they didn’t even know. There is a good chance that the attendant might be involved in the mysterious disappearance of the newborn; the police have registered a case, and we are sure that they will soon find the baby,” argued Dr Kumar.
It is not the first time that a newborn has been kidnapped from the premises of the CHK; several such cases have been recorded in the recent past, but the Sindh Health Department has never bothered making any arrangements to prevent this phenomenon.
“In most cases, relatives are involved in such type of kidnappings. Males are not allowed in gynaecological wards, and usually female attendants take these babies away. It is not the kind of issue for us to make any arrangements,” concluded Dr Suresh.