Child trafficking
[Representational Image]Reuters

The Missionaries of Charity, which is facing charges of selling newborns to childless couples, has not been able to provide records of births by 280 women at its various homes in Ranchi, police said on Saturday.

According to police sources, 450 pregnant women were admitted in various homes, run by the order founded by St Teresa, in Ranchi between 2015 and 2018, but there are records of only 170 childbirths and no information about the remaining 280.

"We are investigating all angles... of the sale of children to childless couples. We have gone through records of the pregnant women and newborn babies. There are discrepancies in the records," a police official investigating the case told IANS.

The scam came to light when the couple, who had taken a newborn from the charity home in May, complained that they had paid Rs 1.20 lakh for medical care and delivery of the child, but the baby was taken back by the charity home with assurances of returning it back after court procedures.

The couple complained to the Child Welfare Society after they failed to get the child. According to police, the incident is a case of human trafficking and they are trying to reach its roots.

A mentally challenged woman, staying in a Missionaries of Charity facility on Jail Road here, delivered a baby on Friday but sisters at the home insisted that the newborn should be left there only, the woman's mother alleged.

The group, which is headquartered in Kolkata is now facing a serious inquiry by police. The investigation has lead to the arrest of Sister Konsalia and Anima Indwar, but more could follow if all the mission's homes are found guilty.

As a precaution, 13 girls living in Nirmal Hriday and 22 children in a shelter for children, Shishu Niketan, which is run by the same charity, were moved to a new accommodation on Friday.