Governor urged to take up detention of NRI mother`s son
Kolkata: West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan has been urged to take up the alleged detention of an 11-year-old boy in Sweden, months after the boy`s mother sought Indian`s government`s intervention in the matter.
Kolkata-based NGO "India`s Smile", which claimed to have brought to light the custody row over the Swedish boy Domenic, similar to the recent NRI couple custody row in Norway, said on Friday it had forwarded to the Governor a copy of a letter from Fam Christer Johansson, father of the boy in Sweden, for his intervention.
The NGO quoted a reply from Raj Bhavan to say that the Special Secretary to the Governor had forwarded the letter to the External Affairs Ministry Secretary a copy of the NGO`s memorandum (dated April 26) for consideration.
``The memorandum is self-explanatory regarding prayer for intervention in the matter of handing over the children of NRI mother held up by the state authority of Sweden Gotland Municipal Social Welfare Committee,`` the Governor`s Special Secretary said in the communication.
The boy`s father told the NGO that "Domenic is in danger. He is fed vaccines and has dropped in weight a lot the past few months. This is a clear case of psychological torture (of the boy).
The NGO`s Secretary trustee Rajeev Sarkar said the mother Annie Johansson, informed him in an e-mail that she was inspired by the role played by "India`s Smile" in bringing back the two children Abhigyan and Aishwarya to India after a prolonged legal battle in Norway.
The mother, who had settled at Visby in Sweden in April, 2000, contacted them with a plea to Indian government for custody of her son who was in the care of Swedish Gotland Municipal Social Welfare Committee.
The NGO said the authorities of Gotland Municipal Social Welfare Committee had allegedly taken away Domenic Johansson in 2009 and placed him in an emergency foster home on the ground that the parents were not taking proper care of him.
The mother alleged the Swedish authority, which had no idea of Indian culture and tradition, held that Domenic was not being reared suitably.
Annie, whose earlier name was Nirmalkumar Bharos, a resident of Pune, married Christer Johansson in India on April 24, 2000. After their marriage, they continued to reside in India.
Annie was carrying Domenic when there was a devastating earthquake in the spring of 2001 and the Johanssons family lost everything and decided to migrate back to Sweden.
Domenic was born on Swedish soil on September 9, 2001.
The NGO has forwarded Annie`s plea to the National Human Rights Commission chairman, with copies to the President, Prime Minister, External Affairs Minister, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, Home minister, besides to the Embassies of Latvia and Sweden.
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