Father denies he has filed for separation from his wife

The grandparents of toddlers Abhigyan and Aishwarya, who were taken away from their parents by the Norwegian Child Welfare Service last year, appealed to the Government of India on Wednesday to continue efforts to bring back the children despite the dramatic turn of events that the case has witnessed over the last two days.

“They are Indian citizens; let them be brought back to India. That is all we want,” Manotosh Chakraborty, the children's maternal grandfather told The Hindu.

“The government did not intervene because of the couple. It intervened because the children are Indian nationals and have the right to be brought up in our cultural milieu. Let their efforts not be suspended,” he added.

Mr. Chakraborty's remarks came after reports that the scheduled departure of a team of diplomats to Norway has been put on hold.

Distressed with reports that the hearing in the Stavanger District Court — scheduled on March 23 — has been deferred, he said that his son-in-law, Anurup Bhattacharya, has already denied the remarks being reported in the press.

“When I spoke to Anurup, he said everything that was being reported was baseless. His brother, Arunabhash, has also denied that he had refused to take the custody of the children,” Mr. Chakraborty said.

Speaking to a national television channel from Norway, Mr. Bhattacharya denied that he had filed for separation from his wife as was reported in a section of the print media on Wednesday. He also said that despite “personal differences,” the family was “united” in the fight to bring back the children.

“I know my daughter [Sagarika]. She is a very brave girl and she has continued to fight for the return of the children to the family all this while,” Mr. Chakraborty said, adding that he had counselled her to strictly follow the advice of the Indian diplomats in Norway.