The Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic order founded by Mother Teresa in India, said it was “carefully looking into” charges of baby trafficking levelled against a nun and a worker at one of its homes.
Jharkhand government has launched a probe into the allegations that the Missionary of Charity, the organisation set up by Nobel laureate Mother Teresa, has been selling infants and babies in Ranchi. The Child Welfare Committee (CWC) has launched an investigation after being approached by a “defrauded” couple.
The matter came to light after staffers at Missionaries of Charity took away an infant from a couple, who had paid Rs 1.2 lakh for the 14-day child. The couple approached the Child Welfare Committee in Ranchi complaining against the Mother Teresa-founded organisation.
The police arrested Anima Indwar, an employee at Nirmal Hriday, on Wednesday based on a complaint filed by Child Welfare Committee’s Ranchi unit chairperson, Rupa Verma. They arrested the nun, who has not yet been identified, on Thursday.
A member of the committee, Pratima Tiwari, told that they realised a baby boy was missing during a routine inspection.
“Missionaries of Charity’s Jail Road chapter gives shelter to women who have no place to give birth,” Tiwari said. “We contacted the mother and she told us that she does not have the child. We followed this up with the institution again.
The accused arrested by police has been identified as Anima Indwar. She worked at Nirmal Hriday, the office of the Missionaries of Charity. She was arrested on a complaint filed by Rupa Verma, who heads the Child Welfare Committee’s Ranchi unit.
According to her complaint, a couple from Sonebhadra district of Uttar Pradesh approached the Child Welfare Committee after Nirmal Hriday allegedly took away the child it had earlier given them on May 14. The couple told Verma that they paid Rs 1.2 lakh on May 1 to get the boy’s custody.
The UP couple had got the custody of the child from the Missionaries of Charity staffer on May 14. They had been called by the staffer to visit the Missionaries of Charity again on July 1 to complete formalities. But as the couple reached Nirmal Hriday’s office, the accused took the boy away.
The mother of the boy, who was sold, had taken shelter at Nirmal Hriday in March. The boy was born in Ranchi’s Sadar Hospital on May 1.
Thirteen other pregnant women were staying at the Nirmal Hriday shelter home. The Child Welfare Committee has transferred all of them to form the Missionaries of Charity’s Ranchi centre to a different location.
The Child Welfare Committee chairperson alleged that she filed a complaint after the couple – to whom the accused had given the child to – asked her to intervene, PTI reported. “The Uttar Pradesh-based family claimed that Anima Indwar, who handed over the child to them on May 14, called them up on July 1 and asked them to visit the shelter home for completing certain formalities,” Verma said. “When the child was brought to the shelter home, Indwar took the boy away.” She alleged that the accused had committed more crimes of this nature.
The child is currently in a government shelter for children.