Infant ‘kidnapping’ No 3 at NICH in 20 days

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Rahab Ali Sahito, a junior clerk in the education department and resident of Khairpur Mirs, and his wife always wanted a son, for which they visited several shrines and distributed food at almost every shrine of Sufi saints in Sindh. As they already have two daughters, the couple wanted a son. Right after getting married, Sahito moved to Karachi from Khairpur Mirs, planning to admit his children to an advanced school in a city like Karachi. Nine months ago, when the wife got pregnant, the couple came to know through ultrasound that the baby is a boy.
They were very happy and started thinking about the future of their newborn, but nature had something else in store for them.
Two nights ago, Sahito’s wife was taken to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) for delivery. After the boy was delivered, doctors recommended that the baby be taken to the National Institute of Child Health (NICH) since the newborn was unwell.
“We took the newborn to the NICH. The administration didn’t allow me to be with my son. They said they would look after the baby in the intensive care unit. So I trusted them and left the baby with the NICH doctors,” said Sahito.
However, on the following day, when Sahito wanted to see his son, the doctors told him that his son was missing and that perhaps he was kidnapped.
“It’s really strange that when they don’t allow anybody to enter the ward, then how did my baby go missing? I think the hospital administration, especially the NICH director, is responsible for this. I’m sure they’ll ask me for ransom now. I had left my village after the worsening law and order situation there, but the situation in Karachi is the same,” said Sahito.
After repeated incidents of infant kidnappings at the Gynaecological Ward of the Civil Hospital Karachi, these cases are increasing at the NICH.
Sources at the hospital said at least three infants have been kidnapped from the NICH in the past 20 days, but somehow the hospital administration manages to hide these cases.
Sahito was also asked to remain silent and assured that he would get his son back soon, but Sahito has not heard from them since.
He had rushed to the Saddar police station and registered a case (First Information Report No 338) against the hospital administration.
“I admit that no one from the outside has kidnapped the infant. Someone working in the hospital must have been involved in the incident, but we are investigating at present and are sure that we shall soon find the kidnapper,” said NICH Director Prof Dr Jamal Raza.
According to the investigation officer of the Saddar police station, Siddique, staff of around 43 people was present in the ward at the time of the kidnapping.
“We are checking the closed-circuit television footage and are sure that we shall catch the culprit soon,” he said, but Sahito still doubts that he would get his son back.