Missionaries of charity: Traceless babies under scanner as probe reveals larger racket
Ranchi, July 17: The Nirmal Hriday finds itself in a spot of bother after the police busted a baby selling racket. The shelter home run by the Mother Teresa founded Missionaries of Charity has been accused of selling off four babies.
Amidst the investigations, there has also been criticism from various quarters stating that the police is on a witch-hunt to defame the missionary. The police had put out a video of a nun confessing to selling off three children for money and the giving the fourth one for free. The scanner is on Sister Consalia, a nun at the shelter home who was seen in the video.
Senior Superintendent of Police of Ranchi, Anis Gupta said that they had found the fourth child at Ranchi. Sister Consalia was arrested on 5 July in connection with the case. The baby was rescued on 3 July. The second child was rescued from Morabadi area of Ranchi on 8 July and the third of the four children was rescued from Simdega in Jharkhand on 11 July.
Not an isolated case:
Amidst demands for a CBI probe into the racket, police sources tell OneIndia say that this is not an isolated incident. There are 12 centres that are run by the Missionaries of Charity that was founded in 1950 by Mother Teresa.
All the centres are under the scanner of the agencies now, which also includes financial watchdogs. While the matter is still under probe, the police suspect that there are at least 50 children who are unaccounted for and the probe to this effect is on.
The agencies are also keeping a track on the funding that these centres have received. The probe revealed that at least five organisations associated with the missionary had received a huge amount of funding between the years 2006 and 2018. An analysis has found that during this period a sum of Rs 927 crore had been received.
The police are now ascertaining what these funds were used for. When asked if the funds were used for conversion purposes also, the source said that we are probing that as well.
A probe by the Child Welfare Committee found that there were 26 babies unaccounted for since January 2017, the district social welfare officer, Kanchan Singh had said that 58 children born in the shelter home were traceless.
This appears to be a larger racket, the police feel. A baby racket could not have been orchestrated by just one or two persons. The police have currently accused Sister Consalia and Anima Indewar, who admitted to giving away four babies. The police suspect that each of the babies barring the fourth could have been sold at a price of Rs 50,000.
The BJP's spokesperson, Pratul Shahdeo said that if underage children face sexual assault, an FIR should be lodged, but the MoC never did that. Instead they gave shelter illegally to such girls. This needs to be probed thoroughly, he also said.
Amidst these allegations, the Catholic Bishop Conference of India general secretary Theodore Mascarenhas claimed that the sister told the MoC lawyer on July 11 that she was not involved in the baby-selling racket and her statement was taken "under pressure" by the police.