Two nuns of Missionaries of Charity, the order founded by controversial Nobel laureate Mother Teresa, were detained on Wednesday along with one staffer of a shelter for unwed and pregnant women for allegedly selling off infants given birth by the inmates of the shelter.
According to this report in the Times Of India, Jharkhand's Child Welfare Committee (CWC) found a male child missing from the shelter at Jail Road in state capital Ranchi during a routine inspection a week ago.
CWC member Pratima Tiwari told journalists that when asked about the missing infant, the nuns told the CWC members that the mother of the child had taken him away. The CWC then contacted the mother, who refuted the nuns' claim. When the CWC asked the Catholic nuns for an explanation, they called back the Uttar Pradesh's Sonebhadra-based couple to who they had sold the infant for Rs 1.2 lakh. The couple reportedly confessed they had paid the sum to the nuns, but had not got the child. They lodged a complaint with the CWC, who informed the police.
After preliminary investigations, a staffer of the shelter, Anima Indwar, was arrested and two nuns detained. Police said the nuns are also likely to be arrested since incriminating evidence has been unearthed against them.
Anima has reportedly confessed to the crime and given in writing a list of five infants sold from the shelter in recent months. According to this news report, the Missionaries Of Charity-run shelter had been selling infants born to unwed mothers for anything between Rs 50,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh. Thirteen pregnant women, who were in the shelter, have been shifted to a CWC-run home.
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