Union Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on Friday assured the couple in Norway, who has accused the country’s child welfare agency of forcibly taking their five-and-a-half-year-old son based on a “fabricated complaint” of child abuse, all possible help. Swaraj said that her department is acting on the request of the boy’s mother. While the father and son are Norwegian nationals, the mother is an Indian citizen, reported PTI.
This comes a day after Swaraj had sought a report on the matter from the Indian ambassador to Norway. “I have received the report. Father and son are Norwegian nationals. We will represent on request of the mother, who is an Indian national,” Swaraj tweeted.
The spokesperson in the Norwegian Embassy told the news agency that the case will be handled in accordance with the Norwegian Child Welfare Act. “The Act applies to all children in Norway, regardless of their background, residential status or citizenship... The Embassy requests restraint and assures that the Norwegian authorities are dealing with the case with complete sensitivity and awareness,” said the spokesperson.
The boy’s father had alleged that the child welfare department in Norway took custody of their son from his kindergarten school on December 13. “They did not give us prior information. On the same day, four policemen took my wife into custody and interrogated her,” he added.
This is the third such case in a span of five years in Norway. In 2011, two toddlers were taken into the Norwegian government’s custody under similar circumstances. The former United Progressive Alliance government intervened in the matter to facilitate the children’s release. In 2012, a Norwegian court convicted an Indian couple in a child abuse case with a prison term and had sent the children to their grandparents’ home in Hyderabad.