January 27 / 30, February 1, 2012

Marianne Haslev Skånland:

Norwegian CPS attacks an Indian family
The Bhattacharya case in Stavanger


January 27, 2012

A ray of hope has at last entered the lives of the Indian couple Mr and Mrs Bhattacharya from Kolkata, living in Stavanger in the south-west of Norway. Their two small children were tragically taken away by the local "child protection services" (CPS, "barnevernet" in Norwegian) and have been kept from the parents for several months. But now the Bhattacharyas' case has exploded in India, with numerous detailed articles and reports in newspapers, with television programmes, and action taken by Indian authorities at a high political level (some references given below).

Of course the Norwegian CPS and politicians talk their usual "impressive" nonsense about being committed to the best interest of the children and recite psycho-babble about lack of "attachment" between the mother and the children, but India is outraged and has not so far let themselves be convinced by this tomfoolery pretending to be deep science.

The result of the international concern about Norwegian CPS is that something comes to the surface about the CPS in general, since the way this Indian couple and their children are being manhandled is familiar in every detail to lots of Norwegian CPS victims also. All the publicity, and the resolute attitude shown by India, has sent a similar ray of hope into the lives of all the thousands of families in Norway persecuted by the CPS too. The Norwegian press, which normally pleases our authorities and rejects the stories of families persecuted by CPS, have not been able to keep quite so cosily quiet this time. Besides, the case comes not long after Norwegian CPS's ill-treatment of a Polish girl and her parents led to astute action by Poles who succeeded in helping the girl escape back to her parents in Poland, whereupon Norway had the incredible impertinence to go to court in Poland(!) to have the girl forcibly returned to CPS child prison in Norway(!). They claimed that she would have far better living conditions under their "care", kept away from her parents! They lost. Catholic Poland apparently has not yet quite succumbed to the ideas of the psycho-babble industry. Furthermore, the Bhattacharya case comes smack on the new installment in an atrocious case regarding two Turkish children, involving the same CPS agency in Stavanger, under the same leader, Mr Gunnar Toresen, who is well known to very many CPS victims. Some more about this Stavanger/Turkey case below.

Some articles in the Indian newspapers were open to comments, and many of these asked very pertinent questions, especially in the paper The Hindu, which led me to attempt a 'letter to the editor'. It is almost identical to what follows here below.

January 29/30, February 1, 2012:

The Hindu
has published the comment, just very slightly abreviated, as far as I can see:
The iron hand that rocks the cradle
by Marianne Haslev Skånland
Opinion, op-ed
The Hindu, Jan 30, 2012

Several interesting readers' comments have been added below the article, dated January 31. The one saying "Unless the partents' offence is huge enough for them to be jailed or otherwise severely punished, there can be no ground for the State to take charge of children." is of course close to my heart, cf §11 in the
Political programme for child protection at local level I wrote a few years back for some bright minds in a small party starting up. (I must pull myself together and translate it into English one of these days, I think.) §11 has the heading: "The CPS should only be able to move to take a child into care in cases in which criminal conduct on the part of the parents towards the child can be assumed to have taken place and be provable.


Here is a version of the original article but one which was actually modified by me a bit later, after I sent the article off to
The Hindu:


I must compliment Indian newspapers and not least
The Hindu for bringing thorough coverage of the case of the Indian couple deprived of their children by the Norwegian 'child protection services' (CPS).

Very many of the comments to the articles, too, are exactly to the point. But you all need to know that this is the way the Scandinavian CPS carry on in general. Sweden is actually the worst of the Scandinavian countries.

One commentator asks: "It would be interesting to see how many other white Norwegian children are taken away from their parents just because they don't have 'proper toys'."

The answer is: thousands, on exactly such a pretext, or any other. Parents who are frightened or who protest, are branded with a quack psychiatric diagnosis. Any "problem" in a child's behaviour, even illness like autism, is attributed to 'unfit/deficient/abusive parents'. There is not much need of real social work in Norway and what there is in families with children (helping out with practical tasks such as washing and cooking in homes where the parents are ill), CPS social workers do not want to do. The CPS, in order to have work, want children and they attack anybody who is vulnerable. That means mostly poor people, Norwegians as well as foreigners, because they are helpless to defend themselves. The general population chooses to disbelieve and despise the families, to believe CPS lies, and to believe that they themselves could never be hit because they are such good parents. The truth is: Almost all families attacked by the CPS are both good and loving parents. Some need help, e.g financial, most of them need nothing other than to be left in peace by this vicious agency and its helpers. The CPS smash the family and destroy the individuals. In their ideology family ties are unimportant; they speak not of parents but of "care givers".

CPS live by depriving children of their parents. It is an industry, which pays incredible amounts especially to psychologists for "reports" and to foster "parents" (they advertise for people to be foster parents and announce a yearly pay of e.g NOK 430.000 (≈ EUR 50.000) + paid holidays and regular "time off" from the foster children + allowances for building on to their house or buying an extra car + pension entitlement). The business also, of course, provides extra income and extra jobs for social workers. Frequently the social workers themselves will take as their own foster children some of the children they remove from parents. Tens of thousands of teachers, kindergarten personnel, health workers etc etc report their "worry" over this and that child to the CPS. The court procedures are those of kangaroo courts. No matter how well those of us who fight against this are able to document the disastrous effects on the lives of both the parents and especially on the children, all the changes in legislation and procedures keep going in the wrong direction: The children are the property of the state and every parent who questions anything is accused of being an ill-doer and a danger to his/her children.

"What is this confidentiality about?" another commenter asks, regarding the refusal of the CPS to say anything about the case or about the agreement which is seemingly budding. The parents' lawyer also will say nothing about the terms of the agreement. The answer to the very pertinent question is very likely: The Norwegian state is trying to blackmail everyone to shut up about Norwegian child "protection" atrocities as a condition of letting the Indian children out of their clutches. That way Norway can: a) have the case die down by letting the children return to India, b) prevent outspoken comments abroad and avoid several of these countries perhaps joining forces, c) still continue to protect its social "services" - an industry feeding tens of thousands of people doing unproductive "work", and d) avoid having to face heaps of other cases quite similar to the Stavanger/Kolkata one, some involving Norwegian families, some foreign families.

Another case involving India, because the child's mother is Indian (the father is Swedish), is that of Domenic Johansson, taken by Swedish police on behalf of the Swedish CPS off an aeroplane to stop him and his parents from going to India, and then abducted by Swedish CPS. The charge against the parents was that they wanted home schooling for Domenic:
"The Domenic Johansson Case. Home schooled boy snatched from plane in Sweden".

The cases with similar or identical details to this Stavanger/Kolkata case are endlessly many. There are people trying to fight against this criminal abuse perpetuated by our state, of course, but they themselves are often threatened. Anyone trying to help children who flee the CPS is prosecuted and jailed. It is encouraging for Norwegians trying to get publicity out about CPS abuses (the press is very state-subservient and uninterested) to see, in the bottom right hand corner of the large poster carried in the demonstration in Kolkata (the photograph from the newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad is shown on the front page of the internet forum "Redd våre barn" (Save Our Children)
http://forum.r-b-v.net, a little way down from the top), a picture of an ogre with the text "Barnevern" (child protection). That picture has been taken precisely from the r-b-v website. So, some intelligent Indians seem to have discovered "us". It warms our hearts.

Although CPS persecution in Norway happens mostly to Norwegian families, foreign families are disproportionately represented. One case, with the same head of social services, Gunnar Toresen, as in the Indian case, concerns two Turkish children, a case about which I have numerous details. I wrote about it in 2006:
The Manavgat case in Turkey - Norway is the kidnapper on the website "Redd Våre Barn".

The case has recently come to life again because at long last a Stavanger newspaper has gone after some details of the city of Stavanger having paid out half a million crowns to be spent as graft to take the children illegally out of Turkey. The man who engineered this is a private investigator who previously worked for the Norwegian crime force and now did this job for the CPS. But in my view, there are far more important facts: The children had been placed with a Norwegian foster "father" who had already been accused by two previous foster girls to have abused them sexually. (No attention was paid to this, of course, since the CPS do not tolerate criticism of their foster"parents".) The boys were kidnapped and taken back to Norway, to the very same foster "father" and his partner. This foster "father", Carsten Flo, has only now been on trial for child pornography and child sexual abuse, and been found guilty (
Fosterfar tilstår overgrep og barneporno "Foster father confesses to sex abuse and child pornography", Stavanger-/Tyrkia-saken "The Stavanger/Turkey case"). Back in 2006, the social services and their Norwegian lawyer derided the boys' parents in a Turkish court for making such claims of abuse, expressing contempt and irony towards the parents, holding that the mother wanted her boys back out of prestige and not out of love, since she made no attempt at that time to get back her daughter, only her sons. (The mother had been only 14 when her daughter was born, and the CPS had immediately taken the daughter because of the mother's "immaturity" and had never let her know even where her daughter was. The sons were born much later and had lived with their parents for several years before they were taken, and besides, it was possible for the parents to find them, whereas the Norwegian authorities had made it impossible to find the daughter.)

I am full of admiration about the actions taken by the families of this Indian couple Bhattacharya and Indian people and newspapers in general. You need to continue being on the alert: You cannot trust a single thing said by the Norwegian CPS the Norwegian Foreign Minister or any other politician or official. It was foreseeable that Norway might try blackmail in the form of making it a condition for returning the Indian children to their family that everybody must promise to shut up about the case. In that way Norway can continue what they do, the kangaroo courts can go on as before, foster "parents" and clinical psychologists can go on earning money, the myriad social workers trained each year can get jobs. Needless to say, I hope Norway does not succeed with this blackmail.

So let me applaud another comment to one of your articles:
"The world should condemn Norway for its barbarity."

Yes indeed. It should. Please help more victims by doing so.

Marianne Haslev Skanland (Skånland)
professor emeritus
Bergen, Norway



"Free our kids"
Photos from the demonstration in Kolkata
Forum Redd Våre Barn, Jan 15 - 26
(cf the article
6000 demonstrerte for indiske barn i Stavanger)


Articles about the Stavanger/Kolkata case:

Norway cool to plea for custody of children to Indian parents
By Aarti Dhar, New Delhi
The Hindu, Jan 21, 2012

Norway appreciates concerns over children in foster home
By Aarti Dhar, New Delhi
The Hindu, Jan 22, 2012

Norwegian authorities list Bhattacharyas' shortcomings
By Carima Tirillsdottir Heinesen, Oslo
The Hindu, Jan 25, 2012 (translated from the article in Ny Tid listed below)

Norway agrees to hand over children to their uncle
By Aarti Dhar, New Delhi
The Hindu, Jan 25, 2012

Grandparents of children in Noway delighted
By Ananya Dutta, Kolkata
The Hindu, Jan 25, 2012

This is no way, Norway
Opinion, editorial
The Hindu, Jan 26, 2012

Norway, yes, but let's also look within
By Geeta Ramaseshan
The Hindu, Jan 27, 2012

Indian couple's children taken away by Norway authorities
NDTV, Dec 24, 2011

Norway snatches away children from Indian couple?
NDTV, Jan 21, 2012

Children's paternal uncle to get custody
NDTV, Jan 25, 2012

Uncle to get custody of Norway NRI couple's kids
TNN, The Times of India, Jan 25, 2012

Reunion with kids soon for Norway NRI couple
By Indrani Bagchi & Debashis Konar
The Times of India, Jan 26, 2012

India takes up with Norway issue of NRI couple's children
Deccan Herald, New Delhi, Dec 24, 2011

'Child snatch' spat with Oslo
The Telegraph, Calcutta, Dec 24, 2011

Norway officials 'kidnap' Indian children
India Blooms News Service, New Delhi, Dec 24, 2011

Separating kids from parents unjustified: India tells Norway
Norway News, Jan 06, 2012

Norway agency won't return kids
Norway News, Jan 07, 2012

Norway may hand over Indian kids to grandparents
Norway News, Jan 25, 2012


Fratatt barna – søsken splittet
Av Carima Tirilsdottir Heinesen
Ny Tid, Oslo, Jan 12 / Jan 25, 2012

Ny Tid, Oslo (no date)

Barnevernet har tvangsplassert indiske barn
Av Dag-Henrik Fosse, Hans Petter Aass
Aftenbladet, Stavanger, Dec 23, 2011

Indiske myndigheter går sterkt inn i norsk barnevernssak
Av Jone Østebø
Aftenbladet, Stavanger, Jan 02, 2012

India presser barnevernet i Stavanger
Av Elisabeth Sagen
Aftenbladet, Stavanger, Jan 06, 2012

6000 demonstrerte for indiske barn i Stavanger
Av Hilde Moi
Aftenbladet, Stavanger, Jan 09, 2012

Diplomatisk drakamp etter barnevernsak i Stavanger
Av Klaus Holthe og Hilde Gran

TV2 Nyhetene
, Jan 23, 2012

Millioner fulgte "marerittet i Norge"
Av Philip Lote
TV2 Nyhetene, Jan 24 / Jan 25, 2012

Indiske barn tatt av norsk barnevern: – Onkelen i India får foreldreretten
av Mirjam Pletanek
TV2 Nyhetene, Jan 25, 2012


Further articles:

NRI couple to get back their kids
By Saibal Gupta, Kolkata
Deccan Herald, Jan 25, 2012

End sufferings in Norway, activists urge child rights panel
Special correspondent, New Delhi
The Hindu, Jan 27, 2012

Barnevernet skal intervjue onkelen
Av Olav Rege Olsen
Aftenbladet, Stavanger, Jan 27, 2012

Leave the kids alone, Norway
By Anil Malhotra
The Hindu, Jan 29, 2012

Inhumanity in Norway
By Swapan Dasgupta
Deccan Chronicle, Jan 26, 2012

Indiadom: Inhumanitet i Norge
av Swapan Dasgupta
Nyhetsspeilet, Jan 28 / Jan 29, 2012 (translated from the article in Deccan Chronicle above)

Family still waiting for official word in kids' custody case
By Ananya Dutta
The Hindu, Jan 30, 2012

Children's welfare
Opinion - Letters
The Hindu, Jan 26, 2012

Childcare culture
Opinion - Letters to the editor
The Hindu, Jan 30, 2012

Child protection
Opinion - Letters
The Hindu, Jan 31, 2012

Norwegian child laws
Opinion - Letters
The Hindu, Feb 01, 2012

A child's nightmare called Norway
By Vanitha Srinivasan
The Hindu Business Line, Feb 2, 2012

The facts about child snatching can be reported in Norway
– but not here
By Christopher Booker

The Telegraph, Jan 28, 2012

Norway NRI couple urges media restraint
By Susenjit Guha, Kolkata
The Sunday Guardian, Jan 29, 2012

Norsk lov i Norge, takk!
Av Claudio Castello
Utrop, Jan 25, 2012

- Norge må ta hensyn til Barnekonvensjonen
Av Claudio Castello
Utrop, Feb 01, 2012

Statens barn
Av Anita Apelthun Sæle
Norge idag, Feb 01, 2012

Fortvilte foreldre har engasjert polsk "Rambo"
Av Dagfinn Dommersnes
Aftenbladet, Stavanger, Jan 29, 2012