The head of the Missionaries of Charity has surrendered to a Calcutta court after the congregation and one of its nuns were accused of torturing a seven-year-old girl.
    The congregation's leader, Sr Nirmala, was granted bail on a surety of $A201.
    But the case against the Missionaries of Charity was not dropped and the next hearing will take place in October.
    A local rag-picker, Kaviran Mondal, has filed a criminal case against the Missionaries of Charity and a nun, Sr Francesco, who heads its home for destitute children in central Calcutta.
    He has accused them of burning the hand of his daughter as an act of punishment.
    Mr Mondal says he is too poor to look after his two daughters, both of whom live in the Missionaries of Charity home.
    The whereabouts of Sr Francesco are not known and all attempts to get her version of the story have been unsuccesful.
    The Missionaries of Charity are facing embarassment over the case, but Sr Nirmala says she will not try to suppress evidence at any cost.
20 Sep 00

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