The Indian High Commission here was trying to gather facts on Monday after an Indian couple complained that their child had been taken away by social services over allegations of abuse.

Rajat Puri and his wife Shruti, who live in Oxford, were reported as saying that their five-year-old son Achintya was taken away last month after he is believed to have said his father was doing “bad things.” The school called the police who alerted the social services, believing the boy was referring to sexual or physical abuse.

The couple denied the allegation and claimed that the child might have meant his father’s smoking habit. They claimed that there was a misunderstanding and child’s reference to “bad things” was misinterpreted by the council.

“Our child is in a bad state. He has been crying and begging to be sent back home because he is scared of being shut up in a dark room every night,” said the child’s mother Shruti

Mr. Puri, a software programmer originally from Punjab, believes it is a case of cultural misunderstanding. “They simply don’t understand the difference between the Indian and British cultures,” he said.

In New Delhi, the External Affairs Ministry said it was awaiting a report from the High Commission in London.