Norway won't hand over Indian kids; tomorrow's hearing dropped

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Norway
Oslo, Mar 22: Dealing a blow to an Indian couple battling for custody of their children, Norway's Child Welfare Service has said the kids cannot go back to India, where they can be caught up in "a very unfortunate tug of war" in the wake of differences between their parents.

"New developments in the child welfare case involving two Indian children make it impossible to carry out the hearing in Stavanger District Court that was scheduled for Friday 23 March," the Norwegian Child Welfare Service (CWS) said in a statement. The statement follows reports of differences between the parents -- Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya, whose children three-year-old Abhigyan and one-year-old Aishwarya were placed in foster care in Norway in May last year on grounds of "emotional disconnect".

Norwegian authorities believe that it would not be in the "best interests" of the kids that they be moved to India now amidst differences between the parents. Over the last few days, both the parents and the children's uncle, who was to get the custody of the kids, "have changed their position several times on the agreement that had originally been reached. This has caused the Child Welfare Service to doubt their motives as far as the agreement is concerned," CWS chief Gunnar Toreseen said.

He said the authorities have been made aware of a conflict in the family that could influence the outcome of the case. "The Municipality of Stavanger will seek to clarify the next steps to be taken in this case in dialogue with the lawyer, private parties and Stavanger District Court, since new developments in the child welfare case involving two Indian children make it impossible to carry out the hearing" tomorrow, the CWS statement said.

PTI

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