The decision has ended months of custody row that created a diplomatic crisis between India and Norway.
The Norwegian Child Welfare Service (Barnvernet) wrote in a press release that “Stavanger District Court has decided in the child welfare case involving two Indian children that the uncle is to take over care of the children. They will leave for India as soon as the necessary arrangements have been made.”
Background of the Case
Three-year-old Abhigyan and one-year-old Aishwarya, children of Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya, an NRI couple living in Stavanger, Norway, were taken under protective care by Barnevernet (Norwegian Child Welfare Services), which claimed emotional disconnect with their parents, and placed them in foster parental care as per the local Norwegian court’s directive.
The family had accused the Norwegian authorities with cultural misunderstandings and prejudice as they were taken for being fed by hand and sleeping in the same bed as their parents in addition to insufficient toys to play in the house. After Indian Foreign Ministry intervened the investigation, it was ruled children to be handed to children’s uncles, however the decision had been postponed several times.