Cuttack baby swap drama ends after 133 days

Bhubaneswar: Curtains were drawn on the four-and-a-half-month-old alleged baby swapping drama at a Cuttack hospital on Saturday when one of the two warring women accepted the unclaimed girl child following direction of the Odisha High Court.

"I am extremely delighted to take back my child. Now I have no doubt that this baby is ours," Rashmita Mallick, the mother of the baby Atmaja told reporters after formally accepting the child.

The baby was lying unclaimed at the SCB Medical College Hospital ever since she was born on March 30. The hospital staff have been taking care of her and named her `Atmaja`.

Claiming that she had delivered a boy, Rashmita Mallick had left the hospital refusing to accept the girl. She had also alleged that her `son` was swapped with the daughter of another woman having the same surname as hers.

The hospital witnessed an emotional scene with doctors, nurses, and other staff members hugging Atmaja before she was handed over to her mother. "Atmaja had become an integral part here. Before starting a day`s work we used to play with her," said a nurse.

The division bench of Chief Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice S K Mishra yesterday ordered Atmaja`s father Sukanta Mallick to accept the baby as the DNA test report confirmed that the his wife Rashmita was not the mother of the boy she had claimed to have delivered.

Following a petition in the high court by Mallick, blood samples of both the babies and their mothers were sent to Central Forensic Science Laboratory laboratory, Hyderabad, on May 2 for a DNA test.

Two women, Rashmita and Nirupama, with the same surname (Mallick) and their husbands having phonetically similar first names (Sukanta and Sushanta), were in the labour room of the hospital and delivered babies almost at same time.

Both the babies – a boy and a girl – were kept in the same tray after their birth on March 30 evening. While Nirupama went home with the boy, Rashmita refused to accept the girl claiming that her child was swapped by hospital authorities.