Indian couple in Norway face over a year in jail for ‘child abuse’

Child abuse

IN a new twist to the alleged child abuse case involving another Indian couple in Norway, criminal charges of "repeated maltreatment" by "threats, violence or other wrong" have been slapped against them.

The couple — V Chandra Sekhar, a software professional from Andhra Pradesh, and his wife Anupama — were arrested on November 28.

"The couple have been charged with gross repeated maltreatment of their child/ children by threats, violence or other wrong under section 219 of the penal code. The prosecution proposed a sentence of one year three months for the mother and one year six months for the father. The judgement would be pronounced on December 3," said the Oslo police department.

Speaking to The Sunday Express in Hyderabad, Chandra Sekhar's nephew, V Shailendra, denied the charges and said the couple are "very loving and caring parents".

Chandra Sekhar's father, V Satyanarayana, said the couple often got calls from the school in Oslo complaining that their seven-year-old son, Saisriram, was hyperactive and mischievous. "Like all parents, he may have told the boy to behave properly in school... This happened about six-seven months back. In between, my son and his family visited Hyderabad... they were here from July to October and then went back," he said.

"After Saisriram returned to school, he wet his pants in the school bus one day... The next day, it appears that he refused to get into the school bus to return home. He apparently told a child counselor that his father had threatened to send him back to India if he received any more complaints," said Satyanarayana.

Besides Saisriram, the couple also have a two-year-old child.

While there has been no official comment from the Indian government, sources said the Ministry of External Affairs has been following the case for some time. Government sources said a consular officer from the Indian Embassy met the couple and the mission will be following the court proceedings on Monday.

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