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'I will try to get my kids back'

After spending nearly a year in foster care in Norway, three-year-old Abhigyan and about a year old Aishwarya are back in India. Accompanied by their uncle Arunabhas Bhattacharya, maternal grandparents, foster parents, and a team of Norwegian authorities, the kids arrived in Delhi yesterday morning. They were received by their paternal grandparents at the airport, who thanked the government for its “unbelievable help” in getting the children back.

However, their mother Sagarika Bhattacharya, who is in the country since last month, was nowhere to be seen. The reason: Court had ordered both the parents to keep away from the kids.


Apple of the eye: Abhigyan is held by his Norwegian foster father upon their arrival at IGI airport yesterday

Although Sagarika wasn’t physically present to receive her kids, her joy knew no bounds. Speaking to MiD DAY after her kids landed in the country, she said, “It’s a big relief to see my kids back in India.” However, there was a bit of grief too. “The fact that my kids aren’t with me is heart-rending. I can’t touch them, hug them,” said the saddened mother.

However, Sagarika seemed to be in no mood to let go of her kids’ custody. “I have fought for over an year now and will not give up.” When asked if she’ll approach the court to seek custody of her children, she said, “I still have not decided about it. Come what may, I will try to get my kids back.”

During the interview, she avoided speaking about her husband Anurup and their relationship.


Aishwarya with her grandmother outside the airport in New Delhi. Pics/Afp

When asked about her husband and if she wants him to leave Norway and come back to India, she said, “I do not know. It’s better I keep my mouth shut. All I can say is that time is a big healer.” Sagarika added that she doesn’t think about the past anymore.

Thanking CPI (M) leader Brinda Karat and other government officials, Sagarika said she’s grateful to them for all their efforts to get the children back to India. The kids, after their stay in Delhi yesterday, will be taken to Kolkata today.

The sad story
It may be recollected that Abhigyan and Aishwarya were separated from their parents Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya by the Norwegian Child Welfare Services in May last year. Thereafter followed a long legal battle, which only ended on Monday. In the interim period, the couple has separated.  

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