Mamta Banerjee pitches battle against Modi over Mother Teresa Charity

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But facts are somewhat confusing but seem to exonerate the federal government

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee

Venkat Raman
Auckland, December 28, 2021

West Bengal Chief Minister and All India Trinamool Congress Leader has accused the Narendra Modi government of freezing the assets of the Kolkata based Mother Teresa Missionaries of Charities, depriving the community and social welfare organisation from celebrating Christmas but the whole issue appears to be muddled in confusion and ambiguity.

Demand to release bank accounts

Taking to Twitter on Monday (December 27, 2021), Ms Banerjee described the move of the federal government as ‘shocking,’ and demanded immediate reinstatement of the Mother Teresa Charities’ assets.

“Shocked to hear that on Christmas, Union Ministry froze all bank accounts of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity! 22,000 patients and employees have been left without food and medicines. While the law is paramount, humanitarian efforts must not be compromised,” she said in her Tweet.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee

Father Dominic Gomes, the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Calcutta, also hit out at what he said was a “dastardly attack on the Christian community.”

In its report, NDTV said that Mother Teresa devoted her life to people abandoned by all others, won the Nobel Peace Prize, and 19 years after her death, was declared a Saint by the Vatican.

“But Mother Teresa’s organisation, the Missionaries of Charity, now finds itself stranded after the government acted against it on Saturday, which was Christmas,” it said.

Home Ministry explains

However, the Home Ministry said that it had not frozen the bank accounts of the Missionaries of Charity but claimed that the State Bank of India had informed that the Charity itself had sent a request to freeze its accounts.

It is understood that the Home Ministry rejected a request from the Charity to receive funds from overseas donors. According to the law, Not-for-profit organisations must obtain clearance under the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA) before they can receive funds from other countries.

Mother Teresa Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata (Wiki Commons Photo)

The Ministry said that it had not renewed the FCRA eligibility of the Missionaries of Charity, citing ‘adverse inputs’ that surfaced when it was considering the application.

Speculation is rife that the Home Ministry’s action was a follow-up of an FIR that was registered in Gujarat against the Missionaries of Charity on December 14, 2021 on suspicion of alleged religious conversion attempts of the inmates in the shelter homes of Missionaries in Vadodara. The FIR alleged that the officials at the Missionaries were allegedly luring young girls into Christianity. However, the officials have denied the charge against them.  

The Charity said in a Statement, “Therefore, as a measure to ensure that there is no lapse, we have asked our centres not to operate any of the FC (Foreign Contributions) accounts until the matter is resolved.”

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