India steps up pressure on Norway for release of c

Last Updated: Monday, January 23, 2012 - 20:59

New Delhi: India on Monday stepped up the
pressure on Norway for the release of two children of an NRI
couple but the Norwegian government while hoping of an
"acceptable" settlement refused to give any time frame for it.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna spoke to his
Norwegian counterpart and summoned their Charge d`Affairs
Aslak Brun to reiterate India`s concerns over the separation
of two children from their natural parents by the Norwegian
Childcare Services which placed them under foster care.

"Given the children`s very young age, removal from the
care of their natural parents and to be placed in foster care
till they turn eighteen is an extreme step which should
normally be a last resort. The circumstances as known to the
Indian government do not appear to justify such measures in
the present case," Krishna told reporters.

He said he has requested the Norwegian government to find
an "amicable and urgent solution" in the matter. He also said
that CPI-M leader Brinda Karat has also talked to him
regarding the issue.

However, the minister did admit that there was a
"problem" since the matter was before the Norway Court and the
Norwegian judicial system was seized of the matter and
therefore, it has to be settled through Indian mission and
other stakeholders.

After his meeting with Krishna, Brun said, "We have a
very close and good dialogue and both the governments have
best interest of the children at heart.

"Through this constructive and close dialogue, we are
very hopeful we will have settlement that will be both
acceptable within Norwegian legal system and also in
accordance with the legitimate concerns of the Indian
government. However, he parried questions on the time frame.

When asked if the issue could be resolved before the
expiry of the visa of the parents of Abhigyan (3) and
Aishwarya (1) who were taken away by Barnevarne (Norwegian
Child Welfare Services) claiming emotional disconnect, Krishna
said he was hopeful that it can be worked out.

"Let me emphasise, we have very cordial bilateral
relations with Norway and they are ready to accommodate Indian
government within their jurisdiction and if it is a visa
issue, it can be worked out," he said.

Meanwhile, Barnevarne has sought concrete details on
January 20 regarding how the children will be looked after,
who in the extended family would be the children`s primary
care giver and how Indian authorities will follow up the
matter and ensure that the children`s needs are met.

PTI



First Published: Monday, January 23, 2012 - 20:59

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