Norway's Child Welfare Services (CWS) has refused to handover two Indian children back to their parents amid reports of rift between them, reports said on Thursday.
Paternal grandparents Ajay and Krishna Bhattacharya, with maternal grandparents Sikha and Monotosh Bhakraborty, hold up portraits of their two grandchildren currently under the care of Norwegian social workers, during a demonstration attended by other relatives and family friends outside the Norwegian embassy in New Delhi. (AFP photo/Sajjad Hussain)
"New developments involving two Indian children make it impossible to carry out the hearing in Stavanger district court that was scheduled for Friday, March 23. The conflicts over the last few days between the parents and their respective families mean that the conditions for entering into an agreement of this kind are no longer present," NDTV quoted CWS as saying.
The hearing on a final agreement in the custody case scheduled for March 23 has been cancelled, reports said.
Anurup Bhattacharya, who is fighting the Norwegian child welfare services for the custody of his two children, has denied reports that he was divorcing his wife for her mental instability.
On Tuesday, Anurup's father Ajoy had claimed that the children's mother, Sagarika, was a schizophrenic and Anurup was planning to divorce her. In Kolkata, Sagarika's father denied she was suffering from any mental ailment.
Speaking to a television channel from Norway, Anurup said, "There might have been some unavoidable circumstances at home, but that does not mean that we are filing for separation or divorce. Whatever our differences are, we are united in our sole aim, which is to get the children back to India."
Abhigyan, 3, and Aishwarya, 1, the children of Anurup and Sagarika, NRIs living in Norway's Stavanger, were taken under protective care by Barnevarne (Norwegian child welfare services) last May on the ground that they were not being looked after properly by their parents.
The question of divorce does not arise, Sagarika's father Monotosh Chakroborty said. If there was any problem at all, it was due to the incredible stress the couple is going through.
"My daughter is against divorce," Manotosh said.
"Perhaps Anurup is also against it, because earlier he had refused the Norwegian authority's offer to handover the kids to a single parent," said Chakraborty from his Birati residence.