Norway NRI couple case: Uncle Arunabhash leaves to seek kids’ custody

Arunabhash, the uncle of two Indian kids separated from their parents by Norwegian Child Welfare Services on the ground of “emotional disconnect” left for Norway on Wednesday to present his ‘statement of intent’ before the authorities to seek their custody.

India Wednesday reiterated its plea to Norway for expediting the process of handing over children of an NRI couple to their uncle and underlined the urgent need for the children to be brought up in a familiar cultural milieu.

M. Ganapathi, secretary (west) in the external affairs ministry, met a senior Norwegian official here and stressed the need for an expeditious solution to the case of an NRI couple whose two children were taken away by the Norwegian Childcare Services on grounds of “emotional disconnect”.

The urgency of the children to be brought up in a familiar milieu was stressed, external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told reporters here.

Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan also met Norway’s Environment and International Development Minister Eric Solheim and pressed for an expeditious resolution of the issue, said the spokesperson.

An agreement was struck between India and Norway last week under which the parents (Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya) named Anurup’s brother Arunabhash Bhattacharya as the primary caretaker of the two children, Abhigyan (3) and Aishwarya (1).

The agreement was struck between the Indian government through its mission in Norway, the municipality concerned of Norway, the Norwegian Childcare Services, and the parents.

Arunabhash will be in Norway Thursday and meet the Norwegian authorities to discuss the procedures of taking charge of children.

The three-year-old Abhigyan and one-year-old Aishwarya, children of Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya, an NRI couple living in Stavanger, Norway, were taken under protective care by Barnevarne (Norwegian Child Welfare Services) in May last year on grounds that they were not looked after properly by their parents.

Barnevarne had placed them in foster parental care as per the directive of the local Norwegian court, mandated under Norwegian laws.

Following appeals for help by parents, India had issued a couple of strong demarches to Norway and made it clear that the decision of the Norwegian Childcare Services to separate two children from their NRI parents was an extreme step and unjustified.





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  1. Stocks continued their climb into uncharted territory on Friday, racking up the fourth week in a row of gains as encouraging economic data prompted investors to buy shares of growth companies.

    The Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index finished at highs, driven by gains in energy and industrial shares. The indexes have pushed to a series of high levels as part of the rally that has lifted equities more than 16 percent for the year so far.

    The Dow Jones industrial average gained 121.18 points, or 0.80 percent, to close at a milestone 15,354.40. The S.& P. 500-stock index rose 17 points, or 1.03 percent, to end at a record 1,667.42.

    The Nasdaq composite index climbed 33.73 points, or 0.97 percent, to finish at 3,498.97 — its highest close since October 2000.

    In a sign of how far the market has come, the S.& P. 500 is about 1,000 points above the low it hit in March 2009 in the wake of the credit crisis and recession.

    “It’s hard to hold this market down,” said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist at RDM Financial in Westport, Conn.

    Data released on Friday showed Americans felt better about their economic and financial prospects in early May, with consumer sentiment at its highest in nearly six years, while a gauge of future economic activity rose in April to a near five-year high.

    “If you believe the economy is going to gradually get better and that global growth will improve, the parts of the market that have not benefited so far, like cyclicals, will probably be the next group to outperform,” Mr. Sheldon said. Cyclical industries are those that do well when times are good, like an airline that benefits from more people flying on vacation.

    The S.& P. energy sector index gained 0.8 percent, with Exxon Mobil up 1.2 percent at $91.76.

    Boeing shares led the S.& P. 500’s industrial sector index higher with a 2.4 percent advance to $98.92, its highest since October 2007. The S.& P. industrial index rose 1.4 percent.

    The rate of growth in the economy has been expected to slow in the second quarter as tighter fiscal policy started to take effect. But recent improvements, including in the labor market and retail sales, suggest the recovery remains resilient.

    “We are still recovering,” said Doreen Mogavero, chief of Mogavero, Lee & Company in New York, who also noted that the comeback was slow. She added that markets in the United States, for all their troubles, were “still the best place to be at this moment.”

    Earlier in Friday’s session, the Dow touched a high at 15,357.40. For the week, the Dow advanced 1.7 percent, while the S.& P. 500 climbed 2.1 percent and the Nasdaq rose 1.9 percent.

    J. P. Morgan raised its year-end target for the S.& P. 500 to 1,715 from 1,580, implying a gain of just under 3.5 percent for the index for the rest of the year.

    “We realize investors are apprehensive about making fresh money purchases, but we see the risk/reward as particularly attractive in technology, health care and financials,” said the client note from Thomas Lee, J. P. Morgan’s United States equity strategist.

    J. C. Penney shares lost 4.2 percent to $18.01 after the retailer reported another steep quarterly loss on weak sales and heavy clearance deals, and the chief executive, Myron Ullman, cautioned that he needed time to fix the company’s problems.

    Tableau Software, a maker of data analysis software, surged in its first day of trading as investors bet the rising interest in Big Data would drive its growth. Tableau surged 64 percent to $50.75.

    The price of the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell 22/32 to 98 5/32, increasing the yield to 1.95, from 1.88 on Thursday.

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