19 Jan 2012

Norwegian authorities take away children from Indian couple because they were eating with their hands

An Indian couple have had their children taken away by Norwegian social workers because they were feeding them with their hands and sleeping in the same bed as them. Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya lost custody of their three-year-old son and one-year-old daughter eight months ago after authorities branded their behaviour inappropriate.

Parents Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya and their three-year-old son

Father Anurup told Indian television channel NDTV: 'They told me ''why are you sleeping with the children in the same bed?'’. '(I told them) this is also a purely cultural issue. We never leave the children in another room and say goodnight to them.' Anurup added: 'Feeding a child with the hand is normal in Indian tradition and when the mother is feeding with a spoon there could be phases when she was overfeeding the child. 'They said it was force feeding. These are basically cultural differences

The drastic measure led to intervention from the Indian government who contacted Norwegian authorities in an a desperate attempt to return the children. The parents have been told that they can only see their children twice a year, for an hour during each visit until the kids turn 18 when they will no longer be bound by the current restrictions under current Norwegian law.

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