Norway custody row: Mother's psychological issues exposed

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Oslo, Mar 20: In what can be called an ultimate twist in the tale regarding the custody battle for the two children of the Norway-based Indian couple, who has been taken to foster care; the father of the two young children, Anurup Bhattacharya has alleged that his wife suffers from a serious psychological issue and that he did not reveal the fact to officials out of fear that he might lose custody of the children.

The matter will most definitely cast serious aspersions on the talks between Norway and India after the episode regarding the Norwegian child welfare services taking the children away from the biological parents caused a massive furore in India.

The father, Anurup Bhattacharya claimed that his wife attacked him over the weekend. He stated that he was ready to legally separate from his wife after the brutal attack. He was quoted as saying to a reporter at the Hindu newspaper "This is not the first time this has happened. Sagarika has assaulted me many times before. You can find all those details in the dossier. But this time she created a massive commotion and physically assaulted me. The noise was so great that the neighbours came and my wife told them I was hitting her!”

He added in the interview with the popular media house, "If I concealed the seriousness of Abhigyan's and our family's problems it was because I thought that was the only way we could get our children back. But I now realize that was a mistake and I should have spoken the truth right from the start."

On the circumstances that led to the child welfare officials taking away the children, Anurup said, "It was not just cultural bias that prompted the CWS (child welfare services) to act. My wife has a serious psychological problem. She is extremely immature, like a teenager really and all this media attention has gone to her head. I tried to protect her and do her bidding. But last night was such a shock that I have now moved out and am seeking a legal separation."

The case garnered acute media attention and from Indians across the globe with the Norwegians accused of lacking cultural sensitivity. Arunabhash, paternal uncle to the children have been granted visitation rights and have been granted power to bring the children to India stated that the children were doing better in foster care than they were with the parents.

He added, "Every time I see Abhigyan play and laugh, my heart wells over with joy. He's so happy here. And then I get worried because I don't know how much support I'll get in India. If Sagarika's family comes to our home to take away the kids, what will I do?"

Following the incident of the attacks on him, Anurup is reported to have met with the chief of the local child welfare services to seek help. He is also understood to have moved out of the apartment he shared with his wife.

3 year old Abhigyan and 1 year old Aishwarya were taken into custody and later foster care on May 2011. Teachers at Abhigyan's school found his behavious in school disturbing that prompted child welfare services to visit his home. The Norwegian child welfare authorities after careful scrutiny had found that the boy suffered from psychological and neurological problems.

OneIndia News

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