Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has expressed shock at reports that bank accounts operated by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity organisation were frozen on Saturday – Christmas Day.
In her tweet this afternoon, Ms Banerjee said it was important to enforce the law but stressed “humanitarian efforts must not be compromised”. She lashed out at the centre for having shut down bank accounts and left “22,000 patients and employees… without food and medicines”.
“Shocked to hear that on Christmas, Union Ministry FROZE ALL BANK ACCOUNTS of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in India! Their 22,000 patients & employees have been left without food & medicines. While the law is paramount, humanitarian efforts must not be compromised,” she said.
Shocked to hear that on Christmas, Union Ministry FROZE ALL BANK ACCOUNTS of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in India!
Their 22,000 patients & employees have been left without food & medicines.
While the law is paramount, humanitarian efforts must not be compromised.
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) December 27, 2021
Officials at the Missionaries of Charity organisation have refused to comment at this time.
There is no official confirmation from the centre or the Home Ministry at this time.
Reasons for the bank accounts being frozen are unknown.
However, earlier this month news agency AFP said police in Gujarat were investigating if the Missionaries of Charity had forced girls in a shelter home there to wear a cross and read the Bible.
District social officer Mayank Trivedi told AFP his police complaint was based on a report by child welfare authorities. According to the complaint, 13 Bibles were found in the library and girls staying there were forced to read the religious text.
The Missionaries of Charity, founded in 1950 by the late Mother Teresa – a Roman Catholic nun who lived and worked in Kolkata for most of her life and won the Nobel Peace Prize – denied the charges.
Mother Teresa died in September 1997. She was accorded a state funeral for her service to the poor, irrespective of caste and creed. In September 2016 she was elevated to sainthood by Pope Francis.