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Norway custody row: NRI children return home

New Delhi: Two NRI children, who were kept in foster care by authorities in Norway for nearly a year, today arrived here to a warm welcome after a protracted legal battle and diplomatic pressure by India.

The children — Abhigyan and Aishwarya– accompanied by their foster father, were received at the Indira Gandhi International airport by their grandparents and Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur.

A Norwegian court on Monday handed over the two NRI children in foster care to their paternal uncle, ending months of custody row that saw India stepping up diplomatic pressure on Norway to send back the children, taken away by authorities their last year.

Welcoming the children, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna thanked Norway for their release, saying the children belonged to India. "They belong to India. They are Indian nationals. I am confident that the uncle will take care of them in the environment of their extended family in India," he said.

"I thank the government of Norway and in particular the foreign minister for his constructive approach in resolving this humanitarian issue. I wish to congratulate the judicial system in Norway for taking such an enlightened decision. All is well that ends well," Krishna said.

The children were taken away from their parents –Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya — by Norway`s Child Welfare Agency in May last year on grounds of "emotional disconnect".

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