OSLO: In a huge setback to an Indian couple battling for custody of their children, Norwegian authorities today said they are not going ahead with a deal to hand over the kids to their uncle in view of "conflicts" in the family. "In the light of the great uncertainty that now prevails, the child welfare service (CWS) cannot maintain that a move to India would be in the best interests of the children," CWS chief Gunnar Toresen said in a statement.
The statement follows reports of differences between the parents -- Anurup and Sagarika Bhhatacharya, whose children three-year-old Abhigyan and one-year-old Aishwarya were placed in foster care in Norway in May last year on grounds of "emotional disconnect". Over the last few days, both the parents and the children's uncle, who was to get the custody of the kids, "have changed their position" several times on the agreement that had originally been reached.
This has caused the CWS to doubt their motives as far as the agreement is concerned," Toresen said. Arunabhash Bhattacharya, the paternal uncle of the children, is in Norway in connection with the case. The CWS had a clear intention to sign and implement the agreement but that the events of the last few days now make this impossible, Toresen said. In view of the "new developments," the hearing scheduled for tomorrow in the Stavanger District Court will not take place now, the statement said. Toresen said the authorities have been made aware of a conflict in the family that could influence the outcome of the case.