A 12-day-old baby of a resident of Jhankar More in Siliguri was stolen today. Soma Sarkar, the mother of the baby, had been at the Out Patient Department (OPD) of the Siliguri District Hospital for her child’s regular check-up when a woman, a stranger, lured her on the pretext of buying her food and took her to an eatery outside the hospital.

Mrs Sarkar’s 15-year-old sister-in-law, Saraswati Sarkar, had been accompanying her to the hospital, while it was she who had been carrying the baby. As the trio ate, the woman snatched the baby from Saraswati’s lap and fled, it is alleged. While police said they are trying to trace the woman, hospital authorities said the incident was not related to the hospital, but that they had been examining the CCTV footage.

As news of the incident spread like wildfire, many expressed concerns over the movement of child lifters in the hospital there. Hospital Superintendent Dr Amitava Mondal said the hospital has no connection with the case. “However, we are examining the CCTV footage and are helping with the investigations,” he said.

Mrs Sarkar’s relatives later filed a police complaint, it is learnt. Commissioner of the Siliguri Metropolitan Police, Sunil Kumar Choudhary, said police are investigating the matter.