07/05/2018, 12.11
INDIA
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Ranchi, children sold by sisters of Mother Teresa. Sr. Prema: 'We are shocked'

by Nirmala Carvalho

The superior of the Missionaries of Charity affirms that the sale of minors "goes against our moral convictions". An employee and two nuns from the hospital that cares for single mothers have been arrested. A newborn sold to a couple of Uttar Pradesh for about € 1,490.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - The Ranchi police (in Jharkhand) have arrested an employee of a hospital run by the Missionaries of Charity, the order founded by Mother Teresa, and placed two nuns in custody on charges of selling children.

The Indian Express reported that the three women took newborns from single mothers and then sold them to other couples. In a note issued by the Generalate [in Calcutta, ndr] Sr. Mary Prema, superior of the congregation, says: " We are completely shocked by what has happened in our home. It should never have happened".

The arrest happened yesterday. Shyamanand Madal, head of the Kotwali police station, reports that a case has been opened against Anima Indwar (the employee) and the two nuns according to section 370 of the Indian Penal Code [which punishes those who traffick human beings, ed. ]. Then he adds that "clear evidence was collected against one of the nuns, who could be arrested soon".

The case came to light last week during an inspection by Ranchi's Child Welfare Committee (CWC). Pratima Tiwari, one of the social workers, told the Indian newspaper that the institute run by the Missionaries of Charity is subject to regular checks. The official explains that the facility is located in Jail Road and "welcomes single mothers who have no other places to give birth. In one of the checks carried out last week, we found out that a baby was gone ".

Suspicious, the social workers questioned the nuns: at the end one of them said that the child was taken away by his mother after she was discharged from the structure. "We contacted the woman - continued Tiwari - who instead told us that the child was not with her. At that point the nuns, dazed by the questions, called a family of Uttar Pradesh to which they had sold the baby for the sum of 120 thousand rupees [1,490 euros, ed]. "

On July 3  the couple reached the offices of the Commission and explained that the money had been paid to the nuns as a "hospital tax".

The activist Baidnath Kumar reports to The Indian Express that the sisters of Mother Teresa interrupted the adoption operations throughout India in 2015 [to prevent the children being given in foster care to single or divorced parents, ed.].

 "But in 2016 - he says - I learned that some people have visited the orphanage in Ranchi where they found several mothers asking for news of their children born in the structure, never seen again after the birth".

In her note, Sister Prema reports that she is grieved and continues: " It is completely against our moral conviction we are carefully looking into this matter. We will take all the necessary precautions that it will never happen again".

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