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Norway kids row: CWC gives custody to mother, police disagree

by FP Staff  Nov 9, 2012 11:57 IST

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Four-year-old Abhigyan and two-year-old Aishwarya, who had India and Norway locked in a diplomatic row not long ago, will be handed over to their mother Sagarika Chakraborty. The Child Welfare Commitee (CWC) in Burdwan, West Bengal, where the couple hail from, has asked the children to be sent back to their mother.

The Indian Express reports that despite the CWC ordering the mother's custody of her children be restored, the Kulti police in Burdwan district refused to help get the children reunited with the mother. The children, under a Norway court order, now reside with Arunabhash Bhattacharya, their paternal uncle.

The children in the midst of the custody tussle. AP

The police, apparently, are  confused whether to give priority to the CWC order or the Norway court order and are awaiting a government intimation.

In May 2011, the Norway government had taken custody of Anurup Bhattacharya and Sagarika Chakraborty's two young children saying that the mother was unfit to take care of them and then put them in foster care. After the diplomatic relations between the two countries started straining, a decision was arrived upon by the governments by which the parents decided that the children's paternal uncle would have their custody. The children returned to India and since then have been living in Kulti, West Bengal, with their paternal grandparents.

Chakraborty has alleged that the police has done nothing to help her get her children back.

"On the basis of the Juvenile Justice Act, a biological parent should be the first caregiver of a child. Since the father of the children is in Norway and has not visited them in the last six months, we order their custody be given to their mother Sagarika," CWC chairperson Sikha Aditya told IANS.

Chakraborty told The Indian Express: “The CWC has all powers and they have investigated that my children love me and I am fit to take care of them.”

On the other hand, the children's uncle, who has their custody, has rubbished the CWC's order. He told The Times of India:

"The children were handed over to me as per an agreement between the authorities of the two governments. The CWC is not a court and they just cannot give the custody of the children to their mother. We will move court against the order."

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