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India Protests Norway on NRI Couple's Children

Indian Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbarudd said to Indian media that India conveyed its serious concern to Norway in strong terms and pointed out to Oslo that the children were neither orphans nor stateless and that their application for permit extension should come either from their parents or from Indian government.

“The Government of India was made aware of the fact that the Norwegian authorities were seeking to extend the residence permits of the two young Indian children who have been put in foster care by the Municipal Child Care Services in Stavanger”, said he.

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.

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