ASIA/INDIA – A sister of Mother Teresa in prison: the Church calls for justice

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New Delhi – “It was an emotional heartbreaking visit to jail”, said to Agenzia Fides Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas SFX, Secretary General of the Catholic Indian Bishops’ Conference. After a long wait, Mgr, Mascarenhas was able to visit Sister Concelia Baxla, a nun of Mother Teresa, who together with an employee of the Nirmal Hridya Home, Anima Inwar was arrested two hundred and twenty two days ago on charges of child trafficking.
“Nirmal Hriday is one of the 18 houses of mercy run by the Mother Teresa Sisters in the State of Jharkhand. “The misuse of the police force, the manipulations of political authorities, the apathy of our justice system in the story of this poor, naive and innocent woman who has devoted all her life to the selfless service of the poor and marginalized is a story of many poor prisoners of our country. Many like her are languishing in jail as under trials waiting for the slow churning of the wheels of justice which often appear to be spun by money power, political clout, massive media propaganda and even blatant manipulation of evidence”, the Bishop told Fides.
“The poor sister suffers from diabetes and varicose veins”, recalls the Bishop. “Uprooted from her daily routine, left to suffer alone, all of us, her co-sisters, Superiors, Bishops, priests and all who know her and are convinced of her innocence can only look up to heaven in helplessness and hope, as every attempt to even get bail for her has been brusquely rejected by our judiciary at various levels sometimes in a matter of minutes”, notes Mgr. Mascarenhas.
“What pains me most is that an elderly woman, suffering from ill health could not get bail because the charges had not yet been framed” says the Secretary General, who recalls the Supreme Court order by Judge Madan B. Lokur, who had ruled in February 2018: “Another important facet of our criminal jurisprudence is that the grant of bail is the general rule and putting a person in jail or in a prison or in a correction home is an exception”.

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