|Indian Ministry of External Affairs summons Norway envoy|
| [15.02.2012, 12:57pm, Wed. GMT]|
The government had last month struck an agreement with Norway authorities that the custody of the two children will be handed over to their Kolkata-based paternal uncle.
The Indian Ministry of External Affairs has summoned the Norwegian envoy in connection with the custody of the children of the NRI couple who have been detained by the Norwegian authorities. The Ministry wants to know why the process of bringing the children together with their parents - Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya - is taking time. This comes after senior Communist Party of India leader Brinda Karat's meeting with External Affairs Minister SM Krishna on Tuesday with the former asking for the government's immediate intervention in ensuring early return of the children.
During the meeting, Ms Karat conveyed her "deep concern" to Mr Krishna over the statement made by a top Norwegian official that the children will not be sent to India before April.
"I think the head of the Child Protection Services, Gunnar Toresen, has prejudged the issue and he says even after April there is no guarantee of them being sent," she told reporters after the meeting with Mr Krishna.
"Their visas are expiring on May 8. Their visas should not be extended. It is where the Government of India should intervene and take steps to bring the children back to India soon," she said.
Three-year-old Abhigyan and one-year-old Aishwarya have been placed under the care of a foster family in Norway. The two were taken away by the Norwegian authorities in May last year after they found their parents guilty of "an emotional disconnect" with their children.
Despite the Indian government's intervention, the Norwegian Child Welfare Services is following long procedures in handing over the children to their paternal uncle, Arunabhas Bhattacharya, who will be the formal custodian of the two children when they arrive in India.
Mr Bhattacharya - a dentist by profession - has been asked to stay away from his brother and sister-in-law - the child's parents. Towards that end, he has been put up at a hotel, the expenses of which the agency has promised to foot. Mr Bhattacharya, a bachelor, is also being made to attend regular sessions with the welfare service and psychologists, who say they want to ensure he knows what he's getting into. This involves teaching him how to take care of the children since, the agency says, he is young. After the Norway courts allow the children's custody to be passed to him, the latter would be able to return to India with the children.