Jharkhand: CID Seeks CBI to Probe Christian Donations

Published 09 November 2018  |  
IANS
A nun from the Missionaries of Charity receives a delegation from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights on its visit to their house in Ranchi, capital of Jharkhand state on July 24 as part of a probe. The house was accused of selling babies resulting in the federal government ordering the inspection of Missionaries of Charity homes across the country.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) probing 88 Indian Christian institutions in Jharkhand state has recommended an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on fund diversions, which church leaders say is a bid to accuse Christians of diverting overseas donations to help win converts.

The CID has been investigating Christian institutions since July. Among the investigated institutions, most of them are managed by various Catholic dioceses and religious congregations such as Jesuits, Salesians and several groups of nuns.

Jharkhand police spokesperson and ADG (Operations) R. K. Mallick claimed irregularities in the financial transactions of these institutions and recommended an in-depth federal probe, TOI reported.

Mallick said, "A recommendation has been made to have the dealings of all the 88 NGOs/institutions enquired by an agency like CBI... violations of regulations are to the tune of Rs 1 crore... only a central agency like CBI can probe it. The ongoing inquiry, at this stage, has prima facie revealed violations to the range of a few crores..."

The Foreign Contributions (Regulations) Act specifies that overseas donations must be received through a government regulated system and used strictly for defined purposes. Moreover, audit reports must be submitted to the government annually.

Church organizations have been strictly following the law, said , secretary general of the Indian bishops' conference.

The recommended further probe was a clear case of harassment, he added.

Archbishop Felix Toppo of Ranchi, the state capital, told ucanews.com, "We are being probed for charges that are not substantiated with facts and figures."

He said investigations were also intended to malign and defame Christian organizations to "project us as law breakers" and drive people away.

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