Norway child abuse: Indian parents convicted

Last Updated: Tue, Dec 04, 2012 11:35 hrs

A Norway court on Tuesday convicted an Indian couple for alleged abuse of their seven-year-old son.

Chandrashekar Vallabhaneni and his wife Anupama were arrested here on charges of "gross repeated maltreatment" of their child.

The court awarded 15-month jail for Anupama while her husband was sentenced to 18 months in jail in connection to the case.

On Monday, the Norway Police claimed that the couple from Hyderabad physically abused their seven-year-old son.

Speaking to CNN-IBN, Oslo police official Kurt Lir said the charges against the Vallabhanenis are from 2007 to March 2012.

Lir also added that the child has burn marks and scars on his body.

"They are accused of burning their son with hot spoon or metal object and also hitting him with a belt. This kind of disciplinary action is not allowed in Norway," Lir, head of prosecution, Oslo police, said.

In February, IT professional Chandrasekhar and his wife Anupama´s son Sai Sriram told his teacher that his father had scolded him for bed-wetting and threatened to send him back to India.

Consequently, the school filed a complaint against the couple and the kids were sent to foster care by Norwegian authorities.

After six weeks of investigation, the child services gave the couple a clean chit and the children were reunited with the parents.

In November, Chandrashekhar was given a notice to appear at a local Norwegian court. After the hearing on Nov 26, the couple was arrested and sent to remand for five days.

The accused have refuted the allegations and their families have appealed to the Indian government to intervene in the matter. But the Centre seems reluctant to intervene in what it sees essentially as a legal case, said a report.

"This is an issue that relates not to the government. It relates to a private citizen and to the local law of that country...Sometimes, we express concern about something that happens to the citizen of our country but within the parameters of the law as is applied by those countries...But of course there is public interest and concern. Our Mission will make contact and do whatever is appropriate and necessary," a report quoted External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid as saying.

However, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi has said the government could "diplomatically" do something in connection to the matter.

Speaking to reporters, he said: "The government can diplomatically do something."

"That is a legal position but diplomatically we can try to influence the government," he said while reacting to Khurshid's comments on the issue.

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