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Norway NRI custody row: Children handed over to mother

Jan 08, 2013 01:51 PM IST India India

Kolkata: Sagarika Bhattacharya, caught in a child custody battle involving her and her husband Anurup Bhattacharya, has been reunited with her children Abhigyan and Aishwarya. Nine months after the Norwegian government handed them over to their uncle, the two children have finally been handed over to their mother.

Acting on the orders of the Child Welfare Committee, the Burdwan police have handed them over to the mother. Sagarika had moved the Calcutta High Court seeking implementation of the Child Welfare Committee order.

The children were caught in a custody battle over one year which snowballed into a diplomatic row between India and Norway. The children had been placed under the care of the Norwegian authorities. The child panel, responding to a petition filed by Sagarika, had said that the interests of the children are well preserved with their mother. Sagarika also had to undergo medical tests in Mumbai to prove that she was mentally sound.

However, the children's paternal uncle, Arunabash Bhattacharya, who was given the custody of the children by Norway, claims that it was an agreement between the two countries that he should get the custody and that the CWC cannot intervene in what he says is an 'international treaty'.

Earlier, in May 2012, Sagarika claimed that she was beaten by her husband Anurup Bhattacharya, thrown out of their house and tortured in Norway. Sagarika had claimed that she was not allowed to meet the children and was also allegedly threatened by Anurup's family members and local 'goons' when she went to see her children.

Sagarika's family had lodged a complaint at the local police station, to which Anurup's family filed a counter-complaint alleging that she came to kidnap the children. The two children had returned to India in April after the Norway court ruled in favour of their uncle getting their custody after the parents agreed to the arrangement.