Indian officials are seeking to freeze bank accounts of the Missionaries of Charity following the arrest of a nun on child trafficking charges in Jharkhand state.
Ucanews.com reported that in an 11th July request to India’s home secretary, state police chief D.K. Pandey said the freeze would facilitate an investigation into possible violations of foreign funding regulations.
A court in the eastern Indian city of Ranchi sent a Missionaries of Charity nun to 14 days of judicial custody on 5th July after she was arrested. The nun, identified only as Concilia, was detained for questioning on 4th July following complaints that babies had been sold to childless couples, reported ucanews.com. Another nun from the congregation also was detained, then released.
Police are now working with tax officials to check the income sources and spending of the Nirmal Hriday (Tender Heart) home for unmarried mothers, where the two nuns work, according to newspaper reports.
Sunita Kumar, spokeswoman for the Missionaries of Charity, said the broadening of investigations was intended to “harass and financially trouble” the home, which is part of the mission for children and unwed mothers of the order founded by St Teresa of Kolkata in 1950.
“Our activities, resources and funding are known to the government, and there is nothing for us to hide,” Kumar said.
Picture: A member of the Missionaries of Charity tends to a patient in 2016 in Kolkata, India. Indian officials are seeking to freeze bank accounts of the Missionaries of Charity following the 5th July arrest of a nun on child trafficking charges. (CNS photo/Rupak De Chowdhuri, Reuters).