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India, Norway reach agreement, uncle to get children

January 25, 2012 18:00 IST

The two children of an NRI couple who were taken away by the Norwegian Childcare Services on grounds of "emotional disconnect" will be handed over to their uncle following finalisation of an agreement between India and Norway on Wednesday.

The agreement between Indian government 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, official sources said.

The agreement said the uncle, Arunabhash, has agreed to the parents wish and is aware of the responsibility and he will be the children's primary caretaker, the sources said.

They said 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 born by the government, sources said.

However, under the agreement, the parents still have parental and visitation rights, they added.

The sources said the family has to provide information in response to any inquiry by the family and child welfare ministry.

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 S M Krishna spoke to his Norwegian counterpart 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.

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