ASIA/INDIA - Child trafficking in the Center of the Sisters of Mother Teresa: a woman arrested, two nuns arrested

Friday, 6 July 2018 human rights   human trafficking   nuns   mother teresa  

Ranchi (Agenzia Fides) - A nun and a staff member at Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in Ranchi, which welcomes single mothers, were arrested by the police for allegedly selling babies born to unwed mothers. The police also arrested two nuns of the congregation founded by Mother Teresa of Calcutta. As Fides learns, authorities grew suspicious after the state’s Child Welfare Committee (CWC) discovered a newborn boy was missing from the centre last week. When asked, a nun told the inspectors that her mother had taken the baby away. "However, on being contacted, the mother said that she did not have the baby with her". During the investigation, it turned out that a family in the state of Uttar Pradesh had "bought" the child for 120,000 rupees (1,490 euros). The family said the Center had taken money as "hospital expenses". Anima, the woman employed at the Centre is now under arrest and confessed that the institution "sold" children to various families, providing a list of at least five families.
"It is a real shock for everyone", says Sunita Kumar, head of public relations in the congregation in a note sent to Fides. The Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity, Sister Mary Prema, who is now abroad, has issued a statement sent to Fides: "We are completely shocked by what happened in our house", she says. What happened "is completely contrary to our values, we are examining the matter carefully", she said, promising to "take all the necessary precautions" to prevent other incidents.
Jharkhand is a state currently governed by a coalition led by the "Bharatiya Janata Party" (Indian People's Party). Local faithful now fear that Hindu nationalist propaganda may use the episode against the Christian community. (SD) (Agenzia Fides, 6/7/2018)