Three days after the police reportedly rescued the third of the four children allegedly sold by a shelter home in Ranchi run by Saint Teresa-founded Missionaries of Charity, the Jharkhand Police on Saturday said one of the accused, Sister Konsalia, had "confessed" to selling the three children for money and giving the fourth child away.
Senior Superintendent of Police (Ranchi) Anis Gupta said that during interrogation, Sister Konsalia had "confessed" to selling the three children to three people. However, he did not say how much money was involved in the alleged sale.
On 11 July, the police had rescued a child from Jharkhand's Simdega district, taking the total number of rescued children in the case to three. Gupta said the search for the fourth child was on, adding that a few people were detained for questioning.
The police came to know about the child in Simdega after questioning the two arrested in the case, police sources said. A source claimed that all the four babies were sold from Nirmal Hriday, the shelter located in Ranchi's Jail Road, in the past year.
All the three rescued babies have been sent to a shelter home, the source added.
On Saturday, a video surfaced online, purportedly of Sister Konsalia's confession. The clip shows the nun admitting to her crime, saying she sold two more babies but did not know where they were.
The 50-second video shows the nun answering to a male voice.
#WATCH: A nun of Missionaries of Charity says," I have sold two more babies. I don't know where they are now." She is one of the two nuns who was arrested by Ranchi police on charges of child trafficking on July 9. Police say '3 out of 4 children have been recovered.' #Jharkhand pic.twitter.com/V9DO2pQrbW
— ANI (@ANI) July 14, 2018
However, Ranchi city senior superintendent of police, Aman Kumar, denied that the police had released any such video. "The person who has released the video would know about it," the Hindustan Times quoted him as saying.
The general secretary of the Catholic Bishop Conference of India, Theodore Mascarenhas, claimed that on 11 July, the sister told the lawyer of Missionaries of Charity that she was not involved in the baby-selling racket in Jharkhand, and that the police had taken her statement "under pressure".
The "racket" came to light after a female employee of Nirmal Hriday, Anima Indwar, and Sister Konsalia, who was in-charge of the local shalter, were arrested on the charge of selling a child born to a minor inmate of the shelter home earlier in July. The Missionaries of Charity sister was arrested on 5 July for allegedly selling a child born to a minor inmate of the home to a couple from Uttar Pradesh. Indwar was arrested on 4 July.
On Friday, the chief judicial magistrate court in Ranchi remanded them in four-day police custody for interrogation.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Jul 15, 2018 14:05:14 IST