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Norway NRI kids to return home today.

THE prolonged custody battle for the two NRI children in Norway ended on Monday with a Norwegian court handing over the custody to their paternal uncle.

The trio is scheduled to return to the country on Tuesday morning ending nearly a year of uncertainty and diplomatic tussle that saw India stepping up pressure on Norway.

India had upped the diplomatic ante even issuing a threat to recall its envoy to pressure the Norwegian authorities into returning the children kept in foster care after they were taken away by the Stavanger town Child Welfare Service last year.

Abhigyan ( 3) and Aishwarya ( 1) were handed over to their uncle Arunabhash Bhattacharya after an agreement signed by the three parties concerned was submitted to the court stating that the conditions for their care in India have been addressed.

An elated Anurup Bhattacharya, the children's father, said: " It's a big, big relief. I can't say how much relieved I am after one year of trauma and tension... This is the day I have been waiting for." Anurup said he has been told not to go back to India with the children and hence will stay back in Norway for some more time. An agreement was reached between India and Norway under which the parents named Anurup's brother Arunabhash as the primary caretaker of the two children.

" The court has supported the joint application submitted by the children's parents and the Child Welfare Service at the hearing on Tuesday 17 April.

The court issued a ruling granting the application made jointly by the parties. This stated that the grounds for removing the children from the care of their parents were and continue to be present, but it is no longer necessary for them to stay with a family in Norway as agreement has now been reached that the children are to grow up in the care of their uncle," a statement issued by the Stavanger municipality said.

" On behalf of Stavanger municipality, I would like to thank the Indian authorities and the Norwegian ministry of foreign affairs for their help in finding a satisfactory solution to this case," Gunnar Toresen, head of the Child Welfare Service in Stavanger, said.

Sources said the children would reach India at 9 am on Tuesday along with their uncle and officials of the ministry of external affairs. Foreign minister S. M. Krishna, who is in Madrid, thanked the Norwegian authorities following the court's decision.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Apr 24, 2012
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