NRI kids custody row: 'India monitoring progress’

New Delhi: India is "closely monitoring" the progress in the NRI children custody row, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said here on Thursday.

Krishna, who received a report from Madhusudan Ganapathi, Secretary (West) in the Ministry, said it was government's earnest endeavour to get the children back but as a judicial proceeding in the case was on, any effort could be made only after March 23, the date of the hearing.

He said the Secretary told him that he could meet several senior ministers concerned including the Norwegian Foreign Minister but since the matter was in court, the executive cannot do much in the case.

However, he said, the Ministry is closely monitoring the case and if necessary, he will again send high-level officials.

Abhigyan (1) and Aishwarya (3), children of Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya, an NRI couple living in Norway, were taken away by Barnevarne Norwegian CWS last May on the ground of "emotional disconnect" and put in a foster home.

Following intense diplomatic pressure from New Delhi, the Norwegian Child Welfare Service has already decided to award the custody of two children to the brother of their father enabling him to bring them back to India. They will make the submission in the court now.