India has ordered its state governments to inspect child care facilities run by the Missionaries of Charity — the Roman Catholic order founded by Mother Teresa — after arrests of a nun and a worker accused of baby trafficking.
Earlier this month, Indian authorities shut down a shelter home for pregnant, unmarried women run by the order in Ranchi, a city in the eastern state of Jharkhand, after discovering that four infants had been sold, including a 6-month-old boy who changed hands for 50,000 rupees ($730).
A nun, identified as Sister Koncilia, and a staff member, Anima Indwar, were arrested in connection with trafficking. According to The Times of India, Indwar confessed to selling the children.
At the time of the arrests, a dozen pregnant women were living at the shelter, according to Catholic News Agency.
CNA reports that one couple reportedly paid Indwar 120,000 rupees ($1,760) in exchange for a child, but that she later took the child back without returning the money. The couple then tipped off police, according to CNA.
India’s NDTV cites an unnamed police source as saying all four babies were sold within the past year.
The Times reported on Monday that the last of the four, the 6-month-old boy, had been located and recovered. The newspaper said he was bought by a couple living near Ranchi.
“We are getting many leads, but we cannot divulge them as of now,” Ranchi Superintendent of Police Anish Gupta was quoted by the Times as saying.
“We are working on verifying them,” Gupta said.
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SOURCE: NPR, Scott Neuman