The Nampally police and the Central Zone Task Force have rescued a six-month-old boy, who was kidnapped from Niloufer Hospital in Hyderabad on 14 September,
The boy was found with a couple, Katroth Mamatha, and Katroth Srinu, both aged 26, at their house in Banswada in the Kamaraddy district. The police said Mamatha kidnapped the child when his mother, Fareeda Begum, had gone to get food.
Investigation into the case revealed that Mamatha kidnapped the child because she believed that her 15-day-old baby would not survive. The infant was diagnosed with hyperviscosity syndrome, and doctors reportedly told her the child would not live.
Mamatha had earlier lost two children a few months after they were born.
“The accused Mamatha is the mother of a newborn. She is unable to stand and walk. Mamatha’s two infants died of ill health earlier, and when the third boy was born the doctors whom the couple visited said that he would not survive. This made the couple hatch a plan to kidnap a child.” M Venkateshwarlu, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central Zone), told reporters.
Mamatha had abandoned her infant at the hospital before escaping with Fareeda’s child. Hospital authorities said Mamatha’s baby is doing fine.
How did the police crack the case?
The investigators depended on surveillance cameras installed on the main road since the hospital lacked functional CCTV cameras. The police also found that Mamatha had made calls to her husband Srinu, saying she had kidnapped a child.
The couple took an auto-rickshaw to the Jubilee Bus Stand around 8.30 pm. The police found the auto-rickshaw driver, and the time at which the couple was dropped off at the bus stand. CCTV visuals from the bus stand showed the couple boarding a bus to Banswada.
“We checked almost 100 cameras from the hospital and received a two-way clarification when the auto driver was questioned,” officer Venkateshwarlu said.
The police then found Mamatha’s location by tracking the mobile phone tower. Investigators soon found that the couple hailed from Kothabadi village of Banswada mandal, where they grew vegetables on their one-acre farm. They frequented the city and had been living in a rented accommodation in Banswada. The infant was found at this place.
Mamatha reportedly told the police that she chose Fareeda’s child since he smiled at her. The woman also said that she was in pain over to the realisation that she would lose her third child also.
The police said Mamatha was illiterate, which her husband had studied till Class VII.
DCP Venkateshwarlu said they initially suspected the role of beggars who kidnapped infants to sell to childless couples.
Notice to hospital
Niloufer Superintendent Usha Rani said Mamatha had not admitted her child to the hospital.
“One of our doctors reported that an infant was found unattended. We checked his health and he was fine. He has been admitted to the newborn ward. We will also go through the history of parents’ health issues as they are claiming that their children were not surviving. The kidnapped kid’s health checkup will also be done within two days since he had consumed the accused woman’s milk,” she said.
The police said a notice would be issued to Niloufer Hospital for not maintaining a proper surveillance system.
What is hyperviscosity syndrome?
Dr Madap Karuna, a gynaecologist told South First that hyperviscosity syndrome could be seen in both children and adults. It could sometimes be passed on through genes. Before writing any reports on these disorders, doctors must explain to the parents the ways they can be treated.
Hyperviscosity syndrome happens usually when blood thickens because of too many red blood cells.
Dr Devika Gunasheela, Chairperson of Bengaluru-based Gunasheela Hospital, said infants could be diagnosed with hyperviscosity syndrome if their red blood cell levels exceeded 65 percent.
“It can result from various prenatal or birth-related factors like delayed cord clamping, inherited diseases, genetic conditions (like Down syndrome), and gestational diabetes. Inadequate oxygen supply to tissues or twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome in utero could also contribute,” she explained.
“Additionally, abnormal blood cell production, linked to conditions like leukemia, polycythemia vera, essential thrombocytosis, or myelodysplastic disorders, may also cause this syndrome,” she said.
Treatment options include addressing underlying causes, like partial blood exchange, managing conditions such as leukemia or polycythemia vera, oxygen therapy, fluid replacement, relevant medications, and consistent monitoring, Dr Gunasheela added.
(With inputs from Chetana Belagere in Bengaluru)