New Delhi, India, Sep 30, 2019 / 13:05 pm
A religious sister with the Missionaries of Charity has been released on bail 15 months after her arrest. She is accused of cooperating with the sale of a child from a home for unwed mothers, although her supporter argue that she was coerced into confessing.
Sister Concelia Baxla, 62, was arrested in July 2018, along with Anima Indwar, an employee at the Nirmal Hriday home in Ranchi.
Sr. Concelia was released Sept. 27 on a 10,000 rupee bail, the equivalent of $150, and two sureties of the same amount, ucanews reports. The sister was also instructed to leave her passport at the court.
The religious sister, who suffers from diabetes, had been denied bail twice previously – once last October on the grounds that her release could interfere with the investigation into her congregation, and again in January because charges had not yet been pressed, according to ucanews.
Her lawyer argued that Sr. Concelia should be granted bail because she is not facing direct charges, and noted that Indwar was granted bail shortly after her initial arrest.
Sr. Concelia had been sister-in-charge of the unwed mothers section at the home since June 2017. Indwar was entrusted with escorting the unwed mothers, their babies, and their guardians to hospital and to the Child Welfare Committee office when the religious sisters were engaged with other duties.
Police said a couple reportedly paid 120,000 rupees ($1,760 USD) to Indwar for a baby from the home. The couple complained that Indwar took their money in exchange for a child, and that she later took the child back from them without returning money.
Initial reports suggested that three other infants may also have been sold.