New Delhi – Staff at Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in eastern India allegedly sold four new-born babies in the recent weeks, police said on Friday.
The organisation stated it was “completely shocked” at the accusations.
Area Police Chief, Shyamanand Mandal, said that the racket came to light on Thursday with the arrests of a nun and a worker from a shelter for unmarried mothers in Jharkhand state capital, Ranchi.
“The arrest followed a complaint by the state’s Child Welfare Committee about the sale of a two-week-old baby.
“We have found that the staff sold four babies to childless couples in the past two months.
“More cases may be detected as we have similar complaints dating back to 2015,’’ Mandal said.
Mandal said three children were sold for 220,000 rupees ($3,192) while one payment was awaited.
Although a local spokesman for the shelter denied the allegations, the Kolkata-based Missionaries of Charity put out a measured statement.
“It should never have happened; it is completely against our moral conviction.
“We are carefully looking into this matter. We will take necessary precautions if anything like this has happened,’’ the statement said.
The Missionaries of Charity stopped giving babies up for adoption in 2015 after India changed its adoption laws.
Police rejected the possibility that staff at the charity’s local chapter were not selling babies, but perhaps facilitating adoptions.
“Even for adoptions, applications have to be moved before the child welfare committee; there is a legal process. None of this was done,’’ Mandal added.