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Law should take its course, but no nun should be harassed: Yechury

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Kolkata, July 12 (IANS) Terming the allegation of trafficking and selling of children against Missionaries of Charity “unbelievable”, CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury on Thursday said the law should take its course but the nuns should not be harassed or prosecuted before the charge was proved.

Yechury said though the Marxists had differences with the MoC, they had the “highest respect” for them.

“Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity is a renowned and respected organisation. Despite our differences, we have the highest respect for them. It (the charge) is unbelievable. Let the law take its own course,” he told reporters here.

He said one should wait for the investigation.

“There should not be any harrasment of the nuns or prosecution just on the basis of heresay. Let the matter be investigated,” he said.

Yechury’s remarks came on a day West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of making “malicious attempts to malign” the Catholic order.

“Mother Teresa herself set up Missionaries of Charity. And now they are also not being spared. Malicious attempts to malign their name. The Sisters are being targeted. #BJP want to spare no one. Highly condemnable. Let MOC continue to do their work for the poorest of the poor,” Banerjee tweeted.

The two leaders’ comments followed complaints that trafficking and selling of children were rampant in Jharkhand’s Ranchi Nirmal Hriday, a Missionaries of Charity shelter home.

Jharkhand Police had arrested a nun and an employee of the Catholic Order last week for allegedly selling a child of an unwed mother for Rs 1.2 lakh to an Uttar Pradesh-based couple.

They also alleged that MoC was unable to provide records of births by 280 women at its homes in Ranchi.

According to police, 450 pregnant women were admitted in various homes, run by the Order founded by Mother Teresa, between 2015 and 2018, but there are records of only 170 childbirths and no information about the remaining 280.

The matter came to light when the couple, who had taken a newborn from the charity home in May, complained that they had paid Rs 1.2 lakh for medical care and delivery of the child, but the baby was taken back by the charity with assurances of returning it after court procedures.

The couple complained to the Child Welfare Society after they failed to get the child.

–IANS
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73.2 percent polling in Telangana

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Hyderabad, Dec 8 (IANS) The Election Commission on Saturday announced that 73.20 percent polling was registered in the Telangana Assembly elections on Friday.

The announcement came more than 24 hours after the polling ended in all 119 constituencies.

Suspense continued throughout the day over the final figure of voter turnout.

Teangana Chief Electoral Officer Rajath Kumar had stated late Friday that 67 percent polling was recorded at 5 p.m. Since those standing in queues were allowed to vote even after 5 and this process continued for four to five hours in some polling centres, the final figure was estimated at 69.1 percent.

Over 2.8 crore people were eligible to vote.

According to a statement released by Election Commission Saturday night, among 31 districts, Yadadri Bhongir recorded the highest turnout of 90.95 percent.

Hyderabad recorded lowest turnout of 48.89 percent. This was earlier estimated at 50 percent. Most constituencies around Hyderabad also recorded low turnout of 50-55 percent.

The rural areas recorded heavy polling with many constituencies witnessing over 80 percent turnout.

According to reports received till Friday evening, Madhira constituency in Khammam district registered the highest turnout of 91.65 percent. The lowest 40.18 percent was recorded in Charminar constituency in Hyderabad.

This was the first Assembly elections in India’s youngest state. The previous elections were held in united Andhra Pradesh in 2014 and Telangana had recorded a turnout of 68.9 percent.

Counting of votes will be taken up on December 11.

–IANS
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