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HindustanTimes Wed,01 Oct 2014

US parents want to take Norway kids route

Ravik Bhattacharya, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, September 18, 2012
First Published: 12:54 IST(18/9/2012) | Last Updated: 12:59 IST(18/9/2012)

The parents of Debashis and Pamela Saha, who are engaged in a custody battle for their one-year-old son in New Jersey, have decided to approach Arunabash Bhattacharya, who recently won custody of the Norway kids, for advice on how to negotiate the corridors of power. The Bhattacharya family was caught in a similar situation in Norway and, ultimately, after almost a year of legal wrangling, was able to bring their children back home.

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Abhigyan, 3, and his sister, Aishwarya, 1, were taken away by the Norwegian authorities, who cited an “emotional disconnect” with their parents, triggering a bitter legal battle. The children were eventually placed in the foster care of their uncle, Arunabash, and brought back to India in April.

“We’ll contact Arunabhash and Anurup Bhattacharya and seek their advice on how to bring my grandchild back to us. They’ve undergone the same trauma we’re experiencing right now. They’ve successfully brought their children back to India and have experience in the procedures involved,” Nirmal Saha told HTfrom his Balurghat home, about 500km north of Kolkata.

“I think we can benefit from their experience. We don’t know the process through which one has to approach the ministry of external affairs (MEA) and other important government functionaries,” Saha added.

On Sunday, Saha met President Pranab Mukherjee who was in Kolkata on a three-day tour. The President promised that he would take the matter up with the MEA.

Debashis, Nirmal Saha’s son and an IBM employee in New Jersey, is seeking the custody of Indrashis, his one-year-old son who had received multiple injuries in an accident. The child protection agency has restricted the parents’ access to the child and holds the couple responsible for the injuries. Indrashish was hospitalised on August 9, after which the US authorities took him away from his parents.

“If they want to give me the baby, I’m ready to go to US. We also have relatives there who can take care of the child,” Nirmal Saha said, while asserting that his son and daughter-in-law were innocent and the baby had been injured by accident.


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