In a virtual replay of the Norway children custody case, a US-based Indian couple from West Bengal has been given limited access to their one-year-old son by the authorities who took the child under their care after he suffered head injury.
Debasish Saha, 28, an engineer based in the US state of New Jersey, said his son Indrasish fell from bed Aug 9 and was wounded on the head.
Saha, whose father Nirmal Saha lives in Balurghat in West Bengal’s South Dinajpur district, shifted to New Jersey July 22.
“I was not at home when Indrasish fell and almost became unconscious. My wife Pamela called me up and I rushed home and took my child to a doctor and started the treatment,” Saha told TV channels.
The child was admitted to a hospital and underwent a surgery, he said.
The US authorities have now restricted Saha and his wife’s access to the child over the last few days.
“The child protection team from the division of youth and family services, New Jersey, told us that they will look into how the child fell from the bed. And till they ascertain the reason, they would keep the child in their custody,” said Saha.
The matter came up before a New Jersey court Friday and it asked Saha to appear with a lawyer Sep 14.
The court has also asked Saha to suggest names of relatives who could be given the custody of the child.
Apprehending that the child would be taken away from them and handed over to foster care, Saha said: “Now, we are being allowed to meet the child for two hours every week, in the presence of a representative of a child protection team.”
The engineer also said it would be difficult for him to bear the huge cost of hiring a lawyer.
In a similar case, two non-resident Indian children were kept in foster care in Norway for nearly a year after they were separated from their parents on grounds of alleged negligence.
After the Indian media highlighted the issue, the Indian government put in all diplomatic efforts to ensure that the siblings returned to their homeland and grew up in their family environment.
The custody of the siblings – three-year-old Abhyigyan and one-year-old Aishwarya – was given to their uncle Arunabhash Bhattacharya by a Norwegian court in the city of Stavanger in April, following which the Indian government facilitated their return to India.