ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday December 30, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 31

Suspect’s sketch led trail to Gavish

By Damith Wickremasekera

The woman who tipped off the police regarding the whereabouts of the woman who kidnapped little Gavish from the Kalubowila Hospital will receive a reward of Rs. 500,000 from the police. The woman, whose name the police do not want to reveal as investigations are still pending, had contacted a relative of hers attached to the Padukka Police, on recognizing the sketch of the suspect, that appeared in the newspapers.

Gavish gets a cuddle from his mother

The woman had told police that the suspect had approached her while she was warded at the Kalubowila Hospital maternity ward and had sought her help to find a baby sitter. When the woman wanted a few more day’s time the suspect had apparently taken down her address and left the hospital.

Two days after the woman had gone back home to Moratuwa the suspect had come there with her 13-year-old daughter and had asked about the baby sitter. When the woman had said to give her a few more days, the suspect had left leaving her telephone number.

On recognizing the sketch of the suspect as the one who had approached her about a baby sitter, the woman had promptly contacted the Padukka police and informed her relative about the woman and given her telephone number too. It was this information that helped police trace the suspect to her house at Talapathpitiya last Monday, and find the stolen baby in her room. The child had not been harmed, Kohuwela OIC Prasanna Brakmanage said.

The suspect was remanded while her daughter has been handed over to the probation centre. The husband of the suspect surrendered to the Police on Friday through a lawyer. Police say they believe he is the mastermind behind the kidnapping and that the baby may have been kidnapped to be sold to a third party.

The woman and the daughter will be produced for an identification parade on January 7, Police said. The headline hitting kidnapping drama occurred on December 18 when the few hours old Gavish Rehan was spirited away by the suspect while his mother Sharmalee Fernando had gone to the toilet.

A female sanitary worker attached to a private company that is employed by the hospital and a male employee of the OPD at the Kalubowila Hospital have also been arrested.

Visitors restricted to Maternity and Children’s wards

By Nadia Fazlulhaq

The Health Ministry has decided to restrict the number of people visiting Maternity and Children’s wards in all hospitals from January 1 following a series of baby/children kidnapping incidents.“It is part of our culture to visit the sick. Patients too like to see their kith and kin. But we believe we need to restrict the number of visitors especially to these wards,” Ministry secretary Dr. H.A.P. Kahandaliyanage said.

From January 1 only the mother, father or a guardian of a child would be allowed to visit a patient at the Children’s Ward while a husband or parents would be allowed to visit a woman at the maternity ward, he said.

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