Karnataka: Arrested doctor struck Rs 14.5 lakh surrogacy deal with couple | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: A 31-year-old psychiatrist who allegedly stole a baby boy moments after his birth in May last year has been arrested. Dr Rashmi Shashikumar had struck a deal with a couple from North Karnataka, and gave them the baby, saying it was their child delivered by a surrogate mother.
A resident of Vijayanagar, Rashmi was until recently working with a private hospital on Bannerghatta Road. Police said the doctor, who is from Chikkodi in Belagavi district, had taken Rs 14.5 lakh from the couple and promised them a baby by surrogacy in May 2020.
Police traced the child to Koppal in north Karnataka on Saturday — exactly a year after he was taken from the hospital — and brought him to Bengaluru. The shocked couple said they were made to believe the boy was their child born though a surrogate mom they never met. The infant remains with them and has undergone DNA test, among others, to confirm his biological parents.
Rashmi was arrested on Sunday and is being held in police custody, with her own 45-day-old baby girl.
On May 29 last year, Rashmi stole the baby from the BBMP government hospital in Chamarajpet, police said. The child’s parents, Naveed Pasha, an auto driver, and Husna Banu, had come to the city from Andhra Pradesh in search of a job. The baby was born around 7.50am. Around 10am, Pasha went out to drop his sister-in-law home. A woman doctor spoke to Banu and the attender gave her pills on the doctor’s advice. Then, Banu fell asleep and when she woke up 45 minutes later, the baby was missing.
A police complaint was filed with Chamrajpet police the next day and the case was transferred to Basavanagudi women police station by December 2020. Investigations revaled that the woman doctor in question was not a staffer of the hospital. CCTV footage showed the same woman carrying the child out of the hospital. It turns out that Rashmi, who posed as a hospital doctor, gave sleeping pills to the woman. Based on CCTV footage, a portrait of the suspect was drawn.
“We questioned more than 700 persons and finally reached the couple, who believed that it was their child. We have now brought the baby back to the city,” said DCP (South) Harish Pandey, who had formed a special team to trace the baby.
An investigating officer said Rashmi had met the couple while working with a private hospital in Hubballi in 2015. “The couple had a special child and Rashmi assured them that they could have a healthy child through surrogacy. In 2019, she met the couple and collected materials and samples for surrogacy from the father. Then, she told the couple that she had found a woman in Bengaluru who had agreed to be the surrogate mother. She told the couple that the delivery will happen in May 2020,” the officer said.
As May approached, Rashmi scouted several government hospitals. “She zeroed in on the Chamrajpet hospital due to lack of security. She went to Husna Banu’s ward 3-4 times on May 27 and 28 and made a mental note of the bed as it was close to the main door. On May 29, she entered the ward and found Banu with baby. She gave the attendant sleeping pills, asking her to feed it to Banu,” he said. As Banu fell asleep, Rashmi picked up the baby and left the hospital. She went to a friend’s place in Viajayanagar where the couple had been asked to come, police said.
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Sagar Biswas

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