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Norway child row: Family wants govt to intervene

Nov 30, 2012 07:12 PM IST India India

New Delhi: In yet another case that revives memories of last year's bitter custody battle between a Bengali couple and Norway's child care authorities, a couple from Hyderabad was arrested for allegedly scolding their child for wetting his pants. Chandrasekhar and his wife Anupama Vallabhaneni, who had got a clean chit by the child care agencies, are now in police remand. The Indian embassy in Oslo is in touch with the lawyer and has offered to provide consular assistance.

Satyanarayana, Chandrasekhar's father, is still puzzled. Why did the Norwegian authorities send his son and daughter-in-law into police remand? He doesn't know what to tell his two grandchildren who've been living with them for the past one week. "The family was cleared by the local Norwegian child welfare authorities earlier, so on what grounds have they been arrested now?" asks a neighbour of the family.

The couple had moved to Norway 18 months ago. In February this year, when their elder son Sai Sriram told his teacher that his father scolded him for bed-wetting, the school filed a complaint against the couple and the children were sent to foster care by Norwegian authorities. Finally after six weeks of investigation, the child services gave the couple a clean chit and the children were reunited with the parents, and they returned to India.

However, in November, Chandrashekhar was given a notice to appear at a local Norwegian court. After the hearing on Monday, the couple was arrested and sent to remand for five days. Now their family back home in Hyderabad wants the Indian government to intervene.

The couple's friends in Norway have now filed an appeal in the court pleading that cultural differences between the two countries be considered and the children be reunited with their parents.