Published: Thu, July 19, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Mother Teresa Missionaries of Charity investigated over baby trafficking concerns

Mother Teresa Missionaries of Charity investigated over baby trafficking concerns

Missionaries of Charity spokeswoman Sunita Kumar said last week in a statement that the order was "shocked" by the allegations, "which totally goes against the value and ethics espoused by the Missionaries of Charity, the nuns, and its founder".

The Missionaries of Charity was established in 1950 by Albanian nun Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, later known as Mother Teresa and, finally, St. Teresa of Calcutta after her canonization in 2016.

Early this month, police in Ranchi (Jharkhand) arrested Sister Koshleniea, who ran a children's home, and an employee of the facility, Anima Indwar, who "sold" a newborn to a family in Uttar Pradesh for 120,000 rupees (US$ 1,750).

Inspections must be carried out at all child care homes run by Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity across the country, the government instructed all states. Indian officials are seeking to freeze bank accounts of the Missionaries of Charity following the July 5 arrest of a nun on child trafficking charges.

Police swooped on the order's shelter, discovering a dozen pregnant and unmarried women living there.

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The shelter home is administered by the Missionaries of Charity, which was founded by Nobel laureate Mother Teresa. "It should have never happened".

"We are getting many leads but we can not divulge them as of now", Ranchi Superintendent of Police Anish Gupta was quoted by the Times as saying. "We are carefully looking into the matter".

The Missionaries of Charity stopped organising adoptions in India in 2015 saying they disagreed with government rules that made it easier for single, divorced, and separated people to adopt children.

According to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), 2,32,937 children are now under the care of CCIs - both registered and unregistered in the country.

Minister Maneka Gandhi's move appears to be an attempt to stop child trafficking and illegal adoptions that see more than 100,000 children disappear in India. However some estimates on the number of orphans in the country are as high as 30 million, the Guardian reports.

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