Missionaries of Charity nun in India charged with child trafficking

Mother Teresa was a missionary nun who became a global symbol of compassion

Mr Mallick said the state's Child Welfare Committee had initially received a complaint about one case after an infant brought to the home by a family. They are accused of selling a child born to an inmate of a shelter home that is run by the Missionaries of Charity.

In Mother House in Kolkata, the headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity, there has been shock and disbelief.

"We have found out that some other babies have also been illegally sold from the centre", a police official told BBC Hindi's Niraj Sinha."We have obtained the names of the mothers of these babies and are further investigating".

"We are investigating to see how the operation was run and how many more children have been given away in the last few years", Kumar told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. She said the committee had discovered that other babies were sold to people in different cities for 50,000-70,000 rupees.

Mandal said: "The arrest followed a complaint by the state's Child Welfare Committee about the sale of a two-week-old baby".

The Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic order founded by Mother Teresa in India, said it was "carefully looking into" charges of baby trafficking leveled against a nun and a worker at one of its homes.

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An Indian couple had claimed they paid 120,000 rupees ($2,285) to Anima Indwar, who worked at the shelter run by the Missionaries of Charity, said police officer Aman Kumar.

The baby in question was born May 1 to a shelter resident and was apparently given to the couple two weeks later.

The couple had told Verma that they had to pay Rs 1.2 lakh to Nirmal Hriday on May 1 to get the custody of the baby boy.

The Missionaries of Charity did not respond to calls for comment.

Incidentally, in January 2014, then child welfare panel chairperson Om Prakash Singh had in a letter to the state government alleged "child trafficking" from both Jail Road and Hinoo shelters. It is against our moral convictions.

The Missionaries of Charity, which is facing charges of selling newborns to childless couples, has not been able to provide records of births by 280 women at its various homes here, police said Saturday. "But if it has happened, we must look into it". "We will thereafter take a call on this matter", she said. "We will take all the necessary precautions that this kind of incident never happens again", a statement said. She indicated that Mission of Charities stopped organizing adoptions three years ago, in 2015.

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