The police in Gujarat’s Vadodara city have filed a first information report against a children’s home run by the Missionaries of Charity, an organisation founded by Mother Teresa, for allegedly trying to forcibly convert young girls to Christianity, The Times of India reported on Monday.
The case was based on a complaint filed by the district’s Social Security Officer Mayank Trivedi. He had visited the children’s home on December 9, according to The Indian Express.
Trivedi found that girls at the institute were being forced to take part in Christian prayers and read Christian religious texts, the FIR alleged.
“The girls are being lured to adopt Christianity by making them wear the cross around their neck and also placing the Bible on the table of the storeroom used by the girls, in order to compel them to read the Bible,” it added.
The report also alleged that the institution was involved in “activities to hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus intentionally and with bitterness”.
The children’s home has refuted the accusations. Sister Rose Terrassa, who works at the institute, said the staff only educate and look after orphans or rescued child labourers, The Times of India reported.
However, the institute was charged under the Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act, 2003, as well as Sections 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class) and 298 (uttering, words with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person) of the Indian Penal Code, The Indian Express reported.
SB Kumavat, the assistant police commissioner of Vadodara, said the case against the institute was filed after a committee investigated the accusations made by Trivedi. “Police will probe the allegations and gather evidence to see if the contentions are true,” he told The Indian Express.