Norway kids row: Couple to split, mother blamed

Anurup Bhattacharya, father of the children in custody of the Norwegian child welfare services, has accused his wife of attacking him and having a psychological problem which was concealed earlier.

FP Staff March 21, 2012 14:01:50 IST

The father of the Indian couple who lost their children to Norwegian child welfare services has compounded the quandry for Indian and Norwegian authorities by now alleging that his wife had a serious psychological problem which he had concealed earlier to get custody of the children.

Anurup Bhattacharya has alleged that his wife attacked him over the weekend. Anurup said he will be seperating from his wife Sagarika after she struck him multiple times all over his body and clawed at his face. .

“This is not the first time this has happened. Sagarika has assaulted me many times before. You can find all those details in the dossier. But this time she created a massive commotion and physically assaulted me. The noise was so great that the neighbours came and my wife told them I was hitting her!" he was quoted as saying in a report in The Hindu.

Norway kids row Couple to split mother blamed

The couple had lost the custody of their children in May 2011. Screen grab from CNN-IBN

"If I concealed the seriousness of Abhigyan's and our family's problems it was because I thought that was the only way we could get our children back. But I now realise that was a mistake and I should have spoken the truth right from the start,” he said.

“It was not just cultural bias that prompted the CWS (child welfare services) to act. My wife has a serious psychological problem. She is extremely immature, like a teenager really, and all this media attention has gone to her head. I tried to protect her and do her bidding. But last night was such a shock that I have now moved out and am seeking a legal separation,” Bhattacharya said.

The children, presently in foster care, were the subject of a diplomatic furore between India and Norway in which the European country's child welfare services were accused of a having cultural misunderstanding. Two Indian diplomats have been sent to Norway for a court hearing on the custody of the children on March 23.

The uncle of the child, Arunabhash, who is in Norway to meet with the children and take their custody to bring them to India, has reportedly said that the children are doing better in foster care than they were doing with their parents.

“Every time I see Abhigyan play and laugh, my heart wells over with joy. He's so happy here. And then I get worried because I don't know how much support I'll get in India. If Sagarika's family comes to our home to take away the kids, what will I do?” Arunabhash said.

Bhattacharya, who is a geologist, reportedly met with the chief of the local child welfare services to seek help and also moved out of the apartment he shared with his wife.

Three-year-old Abhigyan and one-year-old Aishwarya were taken from the custody in May 2011 and placed in foster care. The children's Norwegian visas expire on March 8 but their visas could be extended if a court rules that the children are better off in foster care.

Teachers at Abhigyan's had reportedly found his behaviour in school disturbing after which officials from the child welfare services began visiting the family. While denying the custody of the children the Norwegian child welfare authorities had said that the boy had psychological and neurological problems.

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