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Sharmili Mallick

A month after a newborn girl was reportedly stolen from the District Headquarters Hospital (DHH) at Sonepur, allegations of baby swapping surfaced at the hospital on Wednesday.

The matter came to the fore after the family members of a woman informed the police about the alleged exchange of newborns at the hospital. 

The woman, identified as Banita Jhankar of Gandapali village under Ulunda block of Sonepur district, was admitted to the DHH six days ago after she experienced labour pain.

On December 24, the medical staff at the DHH initially informed Banita’s husband and mother that she had delivered a baby boy. However, they handed over a girl to them after some time.

Banita’s husband, Bisikesan Jhankar alleged, “They (hospital staff) initially told us that my wife had delivered a baby boy. Later after 20 minutes, we were handed over a baby girl. I want an enquiry into the matter.”

“Soon after the delivery, the nurses told us that my daughter has delivered a baby boy. Later, they told us that it was a girl. We are confused if the baby was a girl and why were we initially informed that she gave birth to a boy,” asked Tebha Mahalik, Banita’s mother.

Meanwhile, the hospital authorities claim that they have not received any complaint in this regard.

Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) in-charge, Dr Ramesh Chandra Swain said, “We have not received any such complaint yet. However, if we come across any allegation, the matter will be inquired into.”

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