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After Norway,another child custody row in Sweden

NRI resident, Annie Johansson's son has been in foster care in Sweden for past nearly three years.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: May 3, 2012 10:19:21 am

The story of Abhigyan and Aishwarya — the two children who returned to their uncles home in India following a custody row in Norway — has given hope to the family of NRI resident, Annie Johansson,whose son too has been in foster care in Sweden for past nearly three years as the authorities felt that Annie was not raising the child in a proper manner.

Annie Johansson,who resided in Pune before getting married to a Swedish national,Christer Johansson,in 2000,has claimed that her son,Domenic,is being held by the Swedish Gotland Municipal Social Welfare Committee,since 2009.

Annie’s sister Monica Diwan,a resident of Tollygunj in Kolkata,said Annie has contacted India’s Smile,a Kolkata-based NGO,from Visby in Sweden for help. The mother has also sought help from Indian authorities.

“On June 25,2009,as my sister,her husband and son boarded a flight to come to India from Sweden,personnel of social services and armed police personnel detained them minutes before the airplane was scheduled to take-off. They took away Domenic. He was just seven years old. They apparently were not satisfied with the way the child was being raised,” said Monica.

Secretary Trustee of India’s Smile,Rajeev Sarkar,said the authorities of Gotland Municipal Social Welfare put Domenic in an emergency foster home on the ground that his parents were not taking proper care of him.

“Annie has sought help of the Indian government to get back her son,and would also like to return to India permanently from Sweden once Domenic’s custody is restored to her. We have forwarded her plea to the National Human Rights Commission chairman,with copies to the President,Prime Minister,External Affairs Minister,Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs as well as Union Home minister. Her appeal to the President has been referred by the President’s secretariat to the Ministry of Overseas Indian affairs. Another plea of Annie to India’ s External Affairs ministry,was under consideration,” Sarkar said.

According to him,the Union government should put diplomatic pressure on its Swedish counterpart to make sure that Domenic,who is now 11,returns to his parents.

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