Norway custody row: Kids to meet uncle today
Oslo: Abhigyan (3) and Aishwarya (1), the two kids who were forcibly taken away from their parents - an NRI couple - and put under foster care by Norwegian authorities nearly 13 months ago, are expected to meet their uncle on Wednesday.
It should be noted that the uncle has agreed to take custody of the kids - children of Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya living in Norway's Stavanger – who 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.
The family, and the Indian government, have been trying to bring the kids back to India and Norwegian authorities agreed to return the kids if the custody was given to someone other than the parents.
Today’s meeting comes after the emergence of a marital discord between the NRI couple nearly led to the collapse of the case.
A Norway court was to give its final ruling on the custody battle last Friday but indefinitely postponed the hearing after the family feud emerged.
However, the couple tried to undo the damage by re-signing an agreement stating they were ready to give custody of their kids to the uncle. The mother, Sagarika, has since returned to India.
The issue also came up for discussion between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Norwegian counterpart Jens Stoltenberg, during a pull-aside meeting on the sidelines of the recently concluded Nuclear Safety Summit at Seoul, South Korea.
PM Singh expressed hope for an "amicable and good" solution to the custody crisis.
"The welfare of the children and the interests of the parents should be taken care of," Manmohan Singh said.
Singh's response came after Stoltenberg informed him that the Stavanger municipality was planning to take the next steps in the case in full consultation with the parties concerned.