Indian baby under US foster care returns to Kolkata

by South Asia News Services /

Kolkata, Feb 27 (IANS) Nearly six months after being taken into custody by the US Child Protection Services for alleged neglect by parents, one-and-a-half-year-old Indrashish, son on an Indian couple in the US, returned to the city Wednesday.

The baby arrived at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport with his uncle Bhaskar Kundu and was handed over to Pragati Basak – the child’s maternal grandmother, who was granted his custody by a New Jersey court.

“We are so happy to have him back. There was no neglect on the part of his parents. We strongly feel the US authorities needlessly took away the child from his parents,” said Basak after arriving in the city.

Indrashish was taken into protective custody by the US authorities after the child suffered a head injury Aug 9.

Earlier this month, a local court in New Jersey directed them to return the child to Basak. While allowing repatriation of Indrashish, the local court also dismissed the case filed against his parents by the New Jersey Child Protection Services.

After Debashish and Pamela Saha landed at the Parsippany township of New Jersey along with their son in July last year, the child fell down from a bed and sustained serious head injuries.

Following this, authorities took away the child and his parents were allowed only limited access to him.

Nirmal Saha, grandfather of the child, said the repatriation of the child would never have been possible had the civil rights activists and members of the Bengali community not come forward to help the parents of Indrashish.

During his visit to the city, President Pranab Mukherjee had also assured help for the return of the child.

“India and the US have two different cultures and two different legal systems. Despite no mistake of the parents, it was a misunderstanding arising out of two cultures that had resulted in the child being taken away,” said Congress party leader Om Prakash Mishra, who had earlier sought intervention of the external affairs ministry in the matter.


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