A nun and a staff member at Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in eastern India were arrested Thursday for allegedly selling babies born to unwed mothers, police said.
The pair were arrested from the grounds of one of the offices of the charity in Jharkhand on charges of child trafficking, police in the state capital Ranchi said.
The women could face up to five years in prison for selling a baby boy from the institution founded by the Nobel laureate, which cares for unwed pregnant women and mothers in distress.
Police said the infant was sold to a family in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh state for $1,700 by the two suspects.
They could face more charges as investigations widen into the illegal adoption scam, said Ranchi senior superintendent Aneesh Gupta.
“The women have admitted to four more such cases which we are in the process of verifying. The families which bought the babies are also under our radar and will face action,” he told AFP.
Authorities grew suspicious after the state’s Child Welfare Committee discovered a newborn boy was missing from the centre last week.
Nuns at the charity told police that the boy’s mother had taken the child away, said Ranchi inspector general Ashish Batra.
“However, on being contacted, the mother said that she did not have the baby with her,” Batra said.
The hospitals where the children were delivered will also be investigated, police said.
Mother Teresa was a missionary nun who became a global symbol of compassion but she was also a controversial and divisive figure.
She remained fervently opposed to birth control and abortion, describing the latter as “direct murder by the mother herself” in her Nobel acceptance speech.
Mother Teresa, who was 87 when she died in 1997, was buried in Kolkata in eastern India, where Missionaries of Charity is headquartered.
Disturbing video exposes the dangerous message a State Patrol officer told team: ‘Don’t kill them, but hit them hard’
Krystal Marx, the executive director of Seattle Pride, shared a disturbing video this week revealing the violent message an officer in the Washington State Patrol gave to his team as it prepared to confront protesters.
“Don’t kill them, but hit them hard,” he said as he walked through a group of his colleagues.
“I remember shaking,” Marx told the Seattle Times of the experience filming the patrol from her office window. “Why not say, ‘Restrain them, calmly’?”
Chris Loftis, a spokesperson for the patrol, gave the Times a statement trying to explain away the comment as poor “word choice,” but it was not reassuring:
Siberia 10C hotter in warmest May on record: EU
Temperatures soared 10 degrees Celsius above average last month in Siberia, home to much of Earth's permafrost, as the world experienced its hottest May on record, the European Union's climate monitoring network said Friday.
The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) said May 2020 was 0.68C warmer than the average May from 1981 to 2010, with above average temperatures across parts of Alaska, Europe, North America, South America, swathes of Africa and Antarctica.
Globally, "the average temperature for the twelve months to May 2020 is close to 1.3C above the (pre-industrial) level", Copernicus said referring to the benchmark by which global warming is often measured.
Trump stokes division in Republican Party as he rages at Sen. Lisa Murkowski
As the Republican Party is struggling to defend him in a moment of nationwide strife, President Donald Trump decided Thursday night to fuel divisions within GOP rather than make nice.
He had already lashed out on Wednesday at his former Defense Secretary James Mattis, who sharply criticized Trump’s response to the ongoing George Floyd protests. But on Thursday night, Trump took at aim at sitting Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.