External Affairs

Wait for Legal Hearing, India Advises Parents After Norwegian Government Takes Custody of Son

Credit: Pixabay

Credit: Pixabay

New Delhi: The Indian government has advised the Indian-origin parents of a five-year-old boy taken away by Norwegian child services on complaints of abuse to wait for the end of the legal hearing today before formally asking for any diplomatic intervention. 

Earlier in the day, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, currently recuperating from a kidney transplant, had asked for a report from the Indian ambassador in Oslo, Debraj Pradhan.

As per the information available, the boy was taken from his school by Norwegian child service authorities on December 13 on the basis of a private complaint that he was being beaten by his family members.

His father, Anil Kumar Sharma, who is former vice president of the Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) in Norway, then contacted a Delhi BJP leader, Vijay Jolly. 

Jolly, a former OFBJP president, then went to the media to highlight the case and submitted a memorandum to the embassy of Norway in Delhi on Wednesday.

The parents got in touch with the Indian embassy only after the ambassador, Pradhan, contacted the family after the media reports.

Sharma, who acquired Norwegian citizenship and has been in Norway for 26 years, has already hired a lawyer for the court hearing which began at noon. His wife is an Indian passport holder.

“The ambassador has asked him to contact us after the court session is over. But the legal process may take some time,” official sources said. 

In 2011, two Indian children in Norway were similarly taken away to be placed in foster care. This became a cause célèbre, with the UPA government even rushing a secretary-level officer to Norway to mount diplomatic pressure. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also raised the issue during a meeting on the sidelines of an international summit with his Norwegian counterpart. The children returned to India after nearly a year.