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Pressure mounts on Norway

NEW DELHI: Tightening the screws on Norway, a special envoy is visiting the Scandinavian country, as the family members, along with the politicians, have started a public sit-in protest demand

Published: 28th February 2012 02:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:05 PM   |  A+A-

Sushma,-Norway-PTI-L

BJP leader Sushma Swaraj with grand parents of NRI children Aishwarya and Abhigyan during protest demanding their return from Norway. PTI

NEW DELHI: Tightening the screws on Norway, a special envoy is visiting the Scandinavian country, as the family members, along with the politicians, have started a public sit-in protest demanding the immediate return of two Indian kids, who were separated from their parents for the last ten months.

MEA secretary (west) M Ganapathi, who was sent by External Affairs Minister S M Krishna as special envoy to Norway, held a series of meetings with Norwegian leaders after reaching there on Monday.

MEA official spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said that Ganapathi had “positive discussions” with the Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store. The Norwegian child welfare services, Barnevarne, had ordered to separate Avigyan, 3, and Aishwarya, 1, from their parents Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya, last May, claiming the kids’ emotional disconnect with their parents.

Negotiations are still on to reach a final agreement.

Ganapathi also met Norway’s Minister of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion Audun Lysbakken and Ombudsman for Children Reidar Hjermann. He will also travel to Stavanger, where Sagarika and Anurup are living.

Sit-in Protest

Meanwhile, the Kolkatabased grandparents of the two kids began a four-day sit-in protest near the Norwegian Embassy here on Tuesday. Politicians cutting across party lines, including Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, CPM leader Brinda Karat and CPI leader Annie Raja, came in support of the sit-in.

“We want our children back home. Their visas are expiring on March 8. They should be brought back before that,” kids’ grandfather Manatosh Chakraborty said. “The entire country is with them, there is no politics. We would try that before the Parliament session they come here or we will raise the issue on the first day,” Sushma said.

Brinda welcomed the move by the Indian Government to send a special envoy to Norway, and demanded that the children be returned to India immediately. “How can they impose their laws on our children?” she asked.



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