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India will continue to engage Norwegians on NRI siblings

Delhi,Diplomacy,Human Interest/Society, Thu, 29 Mar 2012 IANS

New Delhi, March 29 (IANS) The government said Thursday that it would continue to engage with Norwegian authorities on the issue of two Indian children who have been taken into foster care in the Scandinavian country on grounds of alleged negligence by their parents.


"We will continue to engage the Norwegian authorities on this matter... we hope this is only a temporary delay," Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur said in the Lok Sabha.


Replying to a calling attention motion on the issue, she said the parents and the paternal uncle of the children signed an agreement March 23 which was notarised by the Indian embassy.


This agreement had been presented to the Norwegian Child Welfare Services (CWS) to enable it to submit it to the family court hearing the case, she said.


Unfortunately, the court hearing was postponed by the CWS after certain developments


"led them to conclude that the parents of the children and their families were not united", said the minister.


The matter was discussed between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Norwegian Prime Minister Jen Stoltenberg in Seoul on March 26, she added.


Three-year-old Abhigyan and one-year-old Aishwarya were taken away from their patents Anurup Bhattacharya and Sagarika Chakraborty, an NRI couple residing in Stavanger in Norway by the child welfare services of the local municipality and placed under emergency foster care in May 2011.


After the Indian government's intervention, the authorities had agreed to recommend to a court in Norway on March 23 that the children be placed in the custody of their uncle Arunabhas Bhattacharya. However, that did not happen after reports of marital discord between the parents of the children.


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