Norway kids case: Parents patch-up, re-sign pact
New Delhi: Amid reports that Anurup Bhattacharya was seeking divorce from his wife Sagarika in the Norway kids custody row, the two have re-signed a pact to hand over their children to their uncle Arunabhash.
The signing of the agreement comes amidst reiteration of its stand by India that it would be best for the children to be brought up in an Indian cultural milieu.
“Both parents have agreed to hand over the children to the uncle. The agreement was signed today (Friday) and will be handed over to the Norwegian child care service," the lawyer representing the NRI couple told an Indian news channel.
Government sources said the document was attested by the Indian embassy in Oslo.
The renewed agreement comes as a lease of life to the custody case after marital problems between the parents became public and the Norwegian authorities said they would not hand over the two NRI children on grounds that there were no credible guardians for them.
The authorities in Oslo however yesterday said they were willing to look for "new solutions" in the interest of the two NRI kids kept in foster care.
Abhigyan, 3, and Aishwarya, 1, children of the couple living in Norway's Stavanger, were taken under protective care by Barnevarne (Norwegian Child Welfare Services) last May on the ground that they were not looked after properly by their parents.
Over a month ago, India and Norway had struck an agreement under which the parents named Anurup's brother Arunabhash Bhattacharya as the primary caretaker of the two children.
The re-nomination of the uncle as local guardian came after some reports that he had backed out of the agreement amid speculation that parents were planning to separate.
The parents' marital problems and the disclosure about the mother's unstable mental condition had embarrassed the government which has invested much diplomatic capital in pressuring the Norwegian authorities to help children return to India in the care of their extended family.
If the pact is accepted by the Norwegian court as sufficient guarantee for handing over the children, it will be a major boost to the government which has faced some criticism for intervening in the case without cross-checking the facts.
Anurup Bhattacharya has said that his wife and he remained committed to bringing their children home with Arunabhash as their legal guardian.
(With IANS/PTI inputs)