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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

India, Norway reach agreement; kids to be handed over to uncle

New Delhi, January 25
The prolonged agony of an Indian couple in Norway whose kids were taken away by the Norwegian Childcare Services on grounds of "emotional disconnect", may end soon when the children are handed over to their uncle following the finalisation of an agreement between India and the Scandinavian country today.
According to official sources, Arunabhash, the uncle, has agreed to the parents’ wish and will be the children's primary caretaker. He will spend sometime with the two kids in Norway before bringing them to India and submit a list of doctors in India whom the Norwegian authorities could contact to know about the welfare of the children. An Indian agency will also monitor whether the children were being properly looked after.
The accord between India through its mission in Norway, Municipality of Norway, Norwegian Childcare Services, the parents (Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya) and their lawyer named Anurup's brother as the primary caretaker of the two children.
Barnevarne (Norwegian Child Welfare Services) has approved and agreed to give children to the uncle.
Arunabhash, who lives in Kolkata, will soon leave for Norway and all the expenses of his travel will be borne by the government, the sources said. However, under the agreement, the parents still have parental and visitation rights.
The children Abhigyan (3) and Aishwarya (1) were taken under protective care by Barnevarne, which claimed emotional disconnect with the parents, and placed them in foster parental care according to the local Norwegian court's directive.
Following the plea by the family, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna spoke to the Norwegian authorities and requested them to find an "amicable and urgent" settlement.
India expressed its concerns to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the children were being deprived of the undoubted benefits of being brought up in their own ethnic, religious cultural and linguistic milieu.
In Kolkata, the grandparents of the two kids expressed happiness that they would be handed over to their uncle. ''This is undoubtedly a matter of great relief that Abhigyan and Aishwarya will now be returned to their parents and we are eager to see them back here'', they said.

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