Jharkhand: 'Missionaries of Charity' Centers under scanner over child trafficking allegations

The racket, allegedly involved in the illegal trade of children born of unwed mothers at Missionaries of Charity was busted after a couple approached the Child Welfare Committee.
Image used for representational purpose.
Image used for representational purpose.

RANCHI: Following arresting of Sister Koshleniea and another staff Anima Indwar of Nirmal Hriday, run by the Missionaries of Charity (MoC), in a child trafficking case all the 12 centers of congregation in the State has been put under scanner.

The State Police, looking at the seriousness of the matter, have found it fit for a CBI inquiry and have written to the State to recommend the case for CBI inquiry.

"We have written to the State Government for CBI inquiry as it has come into light during the investigation that five more organizations are also associated with Missionaries of Charity who have received foreign funds of Rs 927 crore from 2006 to 2018 and there are possibilities that the funds were used for some other purposes other than that it was meant for which is a violation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA)," said ADG (Operations) and Jharkhand Police Spokesperson RK Mallick.

Other organizations associated with Missionaries of Charity include - Missionary of Charity Brothers, Missionaries of the Word, Missione Calcutta, Missionaries of Charity Fathers India and Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians Mary Immaculate Province Social Welfare Society.

He further added that two persons associated with Nirmal Hriday have been arrested so far following an FIR was lodged on the statement recorded by a couple from Uttar Pradesh and evidences collected during an inquiry by the Child Welfare Committee which the police are trying to establish through investigations following which a charge sheet will be filed in the Court.

The racket, allegedly involved in the illegal trade of children born of unwed mothers at Missionaries of Charity was busted after a couple approached the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) for not getting the child even after paying sum of Rs 1.2 lakh to the a lady, working with the organization, following which Sister Koshleniea and Anima were arrested.

Sister Koshleniea and Anima, during the interrogation, admitted that they have sold at least four children to childless couples for money since January this year. One child was sold to a couple at Kantatoli another at Morhabdi in Ranchi for Rs 50,000 each while another couple from Simdega was given a child free of cost. Fourth child, however, was sold to a couple from Sonbhadra in Uttar Pradesh, for Rs 1.2 lakh on May 14, but the matter got highlighted after the couple approached the Child Welfare Committee on June 30 as the child, already sold to them, was taken back in the name of completing legal formalities by Anima but was not returned afterwards.

Meanwhile, three out of the four babies sold to different couples have been recovered; the third being recovered on Wednesday, more than a week after the racket was busted from Ranchi. Police said that the efforts were being made to recover the fourth child and claimed that they have located his location somewhere in Kantatoli area in Ranchi, but were yet to find him out.

Preliminary investigations by the Child welfare Committee members revealed that the number of unaccounted babies was 26 since January 1, 2017. District Social Welfare Officer Kanchan Singh also claimed that 58 children, born in the shelter home were still traceless. "110 children were born during the last one or one and a half years in the shelter home, records of only 52 children have been found out while 58 are still traceless without having any clue about them," said Singh.

The four children sold out by Anima are also among those 58, she added. Singh said that the efforts are being made to find out the 58 missing children from the shelter home; in the meantime, 22 children residing at the Hinoo center of MoC in Ranchi have been shifted to other shelter homes as a precautionary measure and will be handed over to their parents after checking their credentials. Meanwhile, plea seeking remand of Sister Koshleniea has been filed in the Court by the Police for interrogation to get into the details into it.

'Nirmal Hriday' run by Missionaries of Charity 'Nirmal Hriday' located at East Jail Road in Ranchi offers shelter to unwed pregnant women which constitute generally rape victims and those rescued from trafficking. After giving birth to the children, they were given an option of to take them along or leave them in the shelter home.

The shelter home has to keep details of every such women coming to there and children born out of them and provide it to the Child Welfare Committee, which was not done properly. The 12 centers of Missionaries of Charity in Jharkhand are located at Godda, Palamu, Gumla, Giridih, Dumka, Hazaribagh, Dhanbad and Gandhinagar, East Jail Road and Kanke Road in Ranchi.

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