West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of targeting the Mother Teresa-founded Missionaries of Charity (MoC) and defaming it.
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief’s accusation of the BJP followed the arrests of a sister of the order and a woman staffer of ‘Nirmal Hriday’, a shelter home run by it, in Ranchi for allegedly selling a child born to a minor inmate to a couple from Uttar Pradesh.
“Mother Teresa herself set up Missionaries of Charity. And now they are also not being spared. Malicious attempts to malign their name. The Sisters are being targeted. #BJP want to spare no one. Highly condemnable. Let MOC continue to do their work for the poorest of the poor (sic),” she tweeted.
“If any individual committed some mistake you can take action, but you (BJP) cannot say Missionaries of Charity is bad,” said Banerjee when asked about the allegations against Missionaries of Charity.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das has ordered an investigation by the Jharkhand State Child Protection Commission.
On Wednesday, police rescued one more child, also allegedly sold by the Ranchi shelter home, taking the total number of rescued children to three.
“Of the four children allegedly sold (by the shelter home), the third child was rescued today from Simdega. A few people have been detained for questioning in this regard,” Ranchi Senior Superintendent of Police Anis Gupta had said, adding the search for the fourth child was on.
Rupa Verma, the chairperson of Ranchi unit of Child Welfare Committee (CWC), had filed a complaint against ‘Nirmal Hriday’ staffer Anima Indwar for allegedly selling an infant boy to the couple from Uttar Pradesh.
‘Nirmal Hriday’ provides shelter to girls rescued through the CWC.
Following this, the CWC shifted 22 children from ‘Nirmal Hriday’ and ‘Shishu Niketan’, also run by the order. The shelter home was also sealed.
The Missionaries of Charity headquarters in Kolkata had issued a statement last week saying it would take necessary action to find out the truth.
“We are shocked at such news, which totally goes against the value and ethics espoused by the Missionaries of Charity, the nuns and its founder. The MoC is looking into the allegations against the accused employees in Jharkhand with all seriousness,” Sunita Kumar, a spokesperson of the foundation, had said.
Kumar had also said that the Missionaries of Charity had stopped putting up children for adoption three years ago.
(With inputs from agencies)