New Delhi – A worker and a nun at a shelter for unmarried mothers in Eastern India have been arrested for allegedly selling a two-week-old baby, police said on Thursday.
“The arrests from the Mother Teresa Missionaries of Charity shelter in Ranchi, the capital of the state of Jharkhand, were made following a complaint by the state’s Child Welfare Committee,’’ local police official Shyamanand Mandal said.
A couple from Uttar Pradesh had contacted the committee, saying that the shelter had given them a baby boy after they paid 120,000 rupees (about 1,742 dollars) as “hospital charges.”
However, a few days after giving them the baby, the female worker contacted the couple, asking them to bring him to the local court for some legal formalities.
According to a complaint filed with the police by committee chairperson, Rupa Verma, the woman then disappeared with the baby.
“After questioning people at the shelter, we arrested the worker whom the couple named, as well as a nun.
“We have also recovered 180,000 rupees from them.
“Further investigations are on into whether there have been more cases,’’ Mandal added.
Missionaries of Charity stopped giving babies for adoption in 2015 after India changed its adoption laws.
However, attempts to contact their headquarters in Kolkata were not successful.
Missionaries of Charity was founded in 1950 by Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun, who worked for the destitute and dying in Kolkata.
Presently, the order has 4,500 members, and runs shelters for the homeless in 133 countries.
Mother Teresa, who died in 1997, was declared a saint in 2016.