Debraj Mitra, TT, Feb. 25: A woman in the eighth month of her pregnancy pulled off what doctors termed a "near-impossible" escape in her condition from SSKM hospital, right under the nose of cops, late last night.
Kulsum Ahmed, 35, an undertrial who had been admitted to the gynaecology department on the first floor, allegedly cut through a toilet window net and slid at least 20ft down a pipe. Two women cops assigned to keep watch on her had no clue about her feat and now face departmental inquiry.
The act is reminiscent of Vidya Bagchi (played by Vidya Balan) in Kahaani. Only that, unlike Vidya, Kulsum was not faking her pregnancy, police have confirmed.
Kulsum, police said, was in Alipore jail with several cases of cheating against her before she was admitted to SSKM on February 1. She went to the toilet around 2.30am, a guard on duty in the gynaecology department told police. "Once inside, Kulsum opened the tap in full force. Using the sound of water as cover, she made a hole in the net of the solitary window," said the employee. The window, around 5ft high, did not have a grille," an officer said.
When Kulsum did not step out after 15-20 minutes, the cops assigned to keep watch on her knocked on the door. "There was no response and that is when they sensed trouble. They broke open the door and spotted a hole in the net on the toilet window," the officer said.
Kulsum, it is suspected, rested her feet on two narrow pipes protruding out of the wall right under the window before sliding down a fatter pipe. "She must have climbed down at least 20ft, a tough feat considering her condition," said an officer of Bhowanipore police station.
The descent would have led Kulsum to the area behind a waiting room for patients' relatives. She then probably scaled an iron gate, around 4ft high. On Saturday morning, Metro found a wire mesh above the gate. The mesh was not there till the night before, hospital employees said.
A gynaecologist associated with a government hospital said she had never seen such a case in her career. "In case of a fall, there could have been heavy bleeding and premature delivery. The post-partum haemorrhage could have killed both mother and baby."