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Oslo jails duo for kid abuse

Oslo, Dec. 4 (PTI): A software professional from Andhra and his wife were today sentenced for over a year by an Oslo court which convicted them of “serious child abuse” in tackling their seven-year-old son, including “burning legs” and “hitting with belts”.

V. Chandrasekhar will have to serve 18 months and Anupama 15. The couple, in custody since last week, have a few days to appeal, which their lawyer indicated they would. The Indian embassy promised “necessary consular assistance”.

The court held Chandrasekhar, who works for TCS, and Anupama guilty of gross or repeated maltreatment “by threats, violence or other wrong”.

The child and his younger sibling are now in Hyderabad with relatives where the couple left him when they came to India in October. The alleged abuse occurred earlier this year.

“(The) Oslo district court has found an Indian couple guilty on several counts of child abuse. In the view of the court, the couple deliberately burnt their son’s leg with a hot spoon or similar object with the result that the child had burn marks measuring approximately 3x5 centimetres,” an official statement said.

The court said it had been proven that on one occasion, the parents had even threatened to brand their son’s tongue with a hot spoon.

“The court also found that it had been proven that the parents had on several occasions hit the child with a belt or similar object and that they had on one occasion threatened to burn their son on his tongue with a hot spoon. The proven abuse took place over a period of six to seven months and therefore falls under repeated maltreatment.”

The prosecution expressed satisfaction at the verdict. “It has been proved that the couple burnt their child with a hot spoon, apart from beating and threatening him,” said Kurt Lir, the head of prosecution in Oslo police said.

The appeal will have to be filed in the Borgarting Court of Appeal, the official statement said.

In New Delhi, the foreign ministry said its embassy in Oslo was in touch with the couple. “We will continue to render necessary consular assistance,” an official said.