‘What prompted him to make such an accusation with only days to go for hearing?'

With three days to go for the hearing in the Stavanger District Court on custody of the children of the expatriate Bhattacharya couple who were taken away by the Norwegian Child Welfare Service, their maternal grandparents are shocked at the sudden decision by their father Anurup to approach authorities and claim that his wife had assaulted him and that she had “a serious psychological problem.”

“What could have prompted him to make such an accusation at such a stage with only days to go for the hearing? We are very concerned about how the court hearing will go,” Manotosh Chakraborty, father of Sagarika Bhattacharya, told The Hindu here on Tuesday

Asked about the allegations raised by Mr. Anurup Bhattacharya, who has reportedly moved out of the apartment he shared with his wife after she allegedly assaulted him on March 19, Mr. Chakraborty said he had not heard from his daughter since the incident was reported. He had not received word from his son-in-law either.

Ever since Abhigyan (3) and Aishwarya (1) were taken away from them, both Anurup and Sagarika had been “traumatised,” Mr. Chakraborty said when asked about the relations between the couple.

“At this point, we are only hoping for one thing. That the children be returned to India. I do not know what has happened between them.”

Mr. Chakraborty said that when allegations about Sagarika's mental state were raised earlier Anurup stood by her, claiming that the doctor's report had also corroborated that she was fine.

Anurup, said Mr. Chakraborty, had also denied allegations of strained relations between the couple. “I do not know what has suddenly influenced Anurup to change his stand,” he said.

Determined

While he was apprehensive of these dramatic developments impinging on the case, Mr. Chakraborty said he was determined to continue the struggle for bringing back his grandchildren.

If the court did not rule in favour of returning the children to the custody of their uncle, Arunabhas Bhattacharya, he would continue to raise the issue with the Government of India, said Mr. Chakraborty.