The Swedish father of an 11-year-old boy of Indian origin being held in foster care in Sweden for the last three years has expressed willingness to apply for Indian citizenship.
The boy,Domenic Samuel Johansson,was born of an NRI mother Annie,formerly known as Nirmalkumar Bharos from Pune.
Annie had earlier appealed to Sagarika Bhattacharya,who was recently reunited with her infant son and daughter Abhigyan and Aishwarya after the children were released by Norway’s Child Welfare Services,for securing release of her son.
The child’s father,Christer Johansson,a resident of Visby in Sweden,has applied to the Indian embassy in Stockholm for Indian citizenship.
A Kolkata-based NGO,Smile India,which first brought to light the Norwegian custody row,quoting Christer’s application said,he wished to apply for Indian citizenship or dual passports for himself,his wife and son.
The Indian embassy in Stockholm,however,has turned down his plea for Indian citizenship and has told him that since he was married to an Indian woman,he and his son could apply for Person of Indian Origin (PIO) cards,India’s Smile secretary Trustee Rajeev Sarkar said.
Christer’s wife has already appealed to the President of India,the Prime Minister,the Home Minister,the External Affairs Minister and also the National Human Rights Commission seeking their intervention in securing release of their son being held in foster care on charges of neglect.
The authorities of Sweden’s Gotland Municipal Social Welfare Committee had allegedly taken away their son in 2009 and placed him in an emergency foster home on the ground that the parents were not taking proper care of him.
The couple were last allowed to see their son in November,2010,the NGO quoting Annie said.
Annie had married Christer in India on April 24,2000 and the couple had settled in the country. The Johanssons had lost everything in the 2001 earthquake in Maharashtra and decided to migrate to Sweden.
Domenic was born on Swedish soil on September 9,2001.
Annie,inspired by the recent release of Abhigyan and Aishwarya and their return to India,had written to Sagarika for help in securing release of her son and to return to India permanently with her child.
The Swedish authority,which had no idea of Indian culture and tradition,had taken away Domenic stating that he was not brought up properly,she had alleged.