India backs out of Norway child custody case

India has abandoned its fight to bring the children of an Indian couple living in Norway back home after they were taken into foster care last May.

Norwegian child services claimed the couple were failing to look after the toddlers, but this was dismissed as cultural differences by the parents and the Indian government.

India planned to send diplomats to Norway to secure custody of the youngsters, but these plans have now been shelved due to reports of “marital problems” between the couple.

“We would have carried on but unfortunately it’s become a personal matter between husband and wife,” said junior foreign minister Preneet Kaur in a BBC report. “We are going to watch the situation. We have done the best we could do,” Kaur added.

Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya lost custody of one-year-old Aishwariya and three-year-old Abhigyan last year, as the Stavanger Child Welfare Service deemed them to be at risk. Norway recently said that the children could be released to their uncle, allowing them to return to India, but this statement has now been retracted.

The case caused anger in India, with the government deciding they would intervene to bring the children back home so they could benefit from their own linguistic environment and culture.

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