NRI kids row: Grandparents, political leaders protest
Family members of the parents of two Indian children, who are lodged in a foster home in Norway, along with leaders of political parties on Monday launched a four-day protest demanding that the Norwegian government send the kids back to India immediately.delhi Updated: Feb 27, 2012 20:59 IST
Family members of the parents of two Indian children, who are lodged in a foster home in Norway, along with leaders of political parties on Monday launched a four-day protest demanding that the Norwegian government send the kids back to India immediately.
Grandparents of the two children -- Avigyan and Aishwarya, their family members, leader of opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, CPI(M) MP Brinda Karat and CPI leader Annie Raja held a sit-in near the Norwegian embassy in New Delhi.
The leaders expressed solidarity with the family members and said they would raise the issue when the Budget Session of Parliament convenes on March 12.
"We want our children back home. This is our only demand. Their visas are expiring on March 8. They should be brought back before that. We demand that the Norwegian government should not delay the process and send our children back soon," Manatosh Chakraborty, the grandfather of the kids, said.
Under an agreement arrived at last month following an eight month-long custody row, three-year-old Abhigyan and his one-year-old sister Aishwarya will be given to their uncle, Arunabhash, who lives in Kolkata.
However, the Norwegian Childcare Services had last week said it will take a decision by early March on whether the custody of the children can be awarded to their uncle.
Holding placards which read 'Norway Send the Children Home', the family members were also joined by students of Springdales School in the capital.
Swaraj said everyone is doing the best to bring the children back to India.
"The entire country is with them, there is no politics. All parties and every citizen are with them. We would try that before the Parliament session they come here or we will raise the issue on the first day," she said.
Karat, who has been pursuing the case for the past few months, said the visas of the two children should not be extended and demanded that they should be sent back to India immediately.
"Parents' visas have been extended, but here the question is about the children. Norway should send the children to their country. How can they impose their laws on our children?" she asked.
Vegard Iversen, a Norwegian who has married an Indian and living here for the past 16 years, was also present at the protest site along with his wife Shalini.
"We got married 16 years back and we have been living here. Whatever the Norwegian government is doing is wrong. They cannot take the children away from their parents," she said.