Amid fresh complications in the custody row involving two children of NRI parents in Norway, two senior Indian diplomats are expected to travel to the Scandinavian country to attend the custody hearing on March 23.
The external affairs ministry has deputed Banashri Bose Harrison, joint secretary in charge of central Europe, and a diplomat dealing with legal affairs to go to Norway.
The duo will also hold talks with senior Norwegian officials.
The ministry was reconsidering the visit of the Indian diplomats, but in view of new developments and the growing public attention to the issue it was decided to send the diplomats to speed up the reunion of children with their family.
Abhigyan, 3, and Aishwarya, 1, children of Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya, an NRI couple 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 looked after properly by their parents
Over a month ago, India and Norway struck an agreement under which the parents named Anurup's brother Arunabhash Bhattacharya as the primary caretaker of the two children. Arunabhash Bhattacharya is currently in Norway.
Amid public outrage and protests by opposition parties, India last month had sent special envoy Madhusudhan Ganapathi, secretary (West) in the external affairs ministry to Norway, to urge Norwegian authorities to find a solution for enabling an early return of the children to India.
Meanwhile, the accusations by the father of two children against his wife have provided a fresh twist to the case.
Anurup alleged that his wife had a serious psychological problem which he had hidden to get custody of the children. He is also said to be considering separation from her.
“Yes, Anurup is mulling legal separation from his wife as she suffers from acute schizophrenia. Last night (Monday) Sagarika attacked my son and badly injured him. Since then, he has fled from her and is living elsewhere. She has been attacking him for long,” Anurup's father Ajay Bhattacharya told IANS in Kolkata.