Norway custody row children return to India

One year old Aishwarya Bhattacharya (C) is held by her grandmother (R) in a car shortly after her arrival at IGI airport in New Delhi on April 24, 2012. The children were put into foster care by Norwegian child services last May

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Two Indian children who were handed over to their uncle from foster care in Norway have returned to India.

On Monday, a Norwegian court ruled that the children be allowed to return to India.

Norway's Child Welfare Agency (CWA) said it took the children into custody last May alleging their parents did not adequately look after them.

However, the parents said that "cultural differences" were behind the agency's decision.

The incident has caused a diplomatic row between Norway and India.

TV pictures showed three-year-old Abhigyan and one-year-old Aishwariya Bhattacharya at Delhi's international airport on Tuesday morning. They are on their way to the eastern city of Calcutta.

The children were met at the airport by Junior Foreign Minister Praneet Kaur.

Foreign Minister SM Krishna said he was "delighted to welcome [the] kids to India".

The children were put into foster care by the CWA after local social services said the children were at risk.

However the parents, Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya, who were living in Norway at the time, denied this.

They said that there were "cultural differences" the authorities took exception to, including sleeping with the children and feeding them by hand.

Following discussions, the CWA has reached an agreement with the parents and the children's uncle.

Custody of the children was transfered to the uncle, enabling them to return to India.

The case received extensive media attention in India and provoked public anger, with the Indian government saying that the children should be allowed to live in their own cultural and linguistic environment.

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