RANCHI, India (CNS) — A court in the eastern Indian city of Ranchi sent a Missionaries of Charity nun to 14 days of judicial custody July 5 after she was arrested on charges of child trafficking.
The nun, identified only as Concilia, was detained for questioning July 4 following complaints that babies had been sold to childless couples, reported ucanews.com. Another nun from the congregation also was detained, then released.
The two nuns work at the Nirmal Hriday (Tender Heart) home for unmarried mothers. A female staff member, Anima Indwar, was also arrested, reported ucanews.com.
Police maintained that Jharkhand state’s Child Welfare Committee came to suspect the home was involved in the illegal trading of children after a couple complained they were not given a child, despite paying 120,000 rupees (US$1,850) as an adoption fee.
Police said they recovered 65,000 rupees in cash from Indwar that they suspected was part of the amount paid by the couple, Saurabh Kumar Agrawal and Preeti Agrawal of Uttar Pradesh.
The couple came into contact with Indwar through a relative in Ranchi before handing over the money, The New Indian Express reported.
Sister Prema, superior of the Missionaries of Charity, expressed shock over the allegations and the police response, but added: “We are carefully looking into this matter.”
Sunita Kumar, the order’s spokeswoman, said the home was for unwed mothers and did not put children up for adoption. She said the congregation is examining the system to make sure that such complaints do not arise in the future.
The charity home is part of the mission for children and unwed mothers of the Missionaries of Charity founded by St. Teresa of Kolkota in 1950.
The pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party runs the government in Jharkhand state, where Christians accuse some Hindu groups of targeting Christians with tacit approval of the administration.
Ucanews.com reported some Christians view the arrest of the two nuns as being aimed at tarnishing the reputation of the church.
Trafficking of children carries a sentence of 10 years in prison.
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103