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Hours after Norway NRI kids unite with mother, HC says they'll remain with uncle

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Jan 08, 2013 at 04:10pm IST

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Kolkata: There is more tussle in the child custody battle involving the NRI couple Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya months after they were brought back from Norway. The Calcutta High Court has restored them to their uncle's custody hours after they finally reunited with their mother Sagarika.

The High Court said the children will stay with the foster parent, their paternal uncle, till such time that the matter is being heard in court. Acting on the orders of the Child Welfare Committee, the Burdhwan police had earlier on Tuesday handed the children over to the mother.

Implementing the orders of the Child Welfare Committee, the police had taken the two children from their paternal grandparents and handed them over to the mother. Sagarika had moved the Calcutta High Court seeking implementation of the Child Welfare Committee order.

The children were caught in a custody battle over one year which snowballed into a diplomatic row between India and Norway. The children had been placed under the care of the Norwegian authorities. The child panel, responding to a petition filed by Sagarika, had said that the interests of the children are well preserved with their mother. Sagarika also had to undergo medical tests in Mumbai to prove that she was mentally sound.

However, the children's paternal uncle, Arunabash Bhattacharya, who was given the custody of the children by Norway, had claimed that it was an agreement between the two countries that he should get the custody and that the CWC cannot intervene in what he says is an 'international treaty'.

Earlier, in May 2012, Sagarika claimed that she was beaten by her husband Anurup Bhattacharya, thrown out of their house and tortured in Norway. Sagarika had claimed that she was not allowed to meet the children and was also allegedly threatened by Anurup's family members and local 'goons' when she went to see her children.

Sagarika's family had lodged a complaint at the local police station, to which Anurup's family filed a counter-complaint alleging that she came to kidnap the children. The two children had returned to India in April after the Norway court ruled in favour of their uncle getting their custody after the parents agreed to the arrangement.

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