New Delhi: India has put on hold the visit of its diplomats to Norway in connection with the custody row of two children as their NRI parents traded mutual recriminations. The father of the children, however, denied  allegations of assault against his wife and rebutted speculation of a divorce.

"Government has tried its best to bring the children home so that they have a future in the country. But a new situation has developed... we cannot interfer"," Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur told reporters outside Parliament House. "The visit of a joint secretary (to Norway) has been postponed," she said, adding that the government will look into the situation before taking the next step.

Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai also struck a circumspect note. When asked to comment on the latest situation regarding the custody of the two NRI children, who were taken away from their parents on grounds of emotional disconnect, Mathai said:  The situation is changing fast. The details are being ascertained in Norway.

"Abhigyan, 3, and Aishwarya, 1, children of Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya, an NRI couple living in Norway's Stavanger, were taken under protective care by Barnevarne (Norwegian Child Welfare Services) last May on the ground that they were not looked after properly by their parentsOver a month ago, India and Norway struck an agreement under which the parents named Anurup's brother Arunabhash Bhattacharya as the primary caretaker of the two children. Arunabhash Bhattacharya is currently in Norway.

However, reports of a brewing marital discord has complicated the case. Anurup Bhattacharya, the father of the two children, Wednesday denied reports that he was filing for divorce from his wife.

"There might have been some unavoidable circumstances at home, I am not denying that fact but that does not mean that we are filing for separation or we are filing for divorce. I am shocked to hear this," Bhattacharya NDTV 24X7 news channel from Norway."Whatever our differences are, we are united in our sole principle aim which is to get the children back to India. My brother and Sagarika are determined to get the children back at the earliest," he added.

The grandfather of the two children and father of Sagarika, Monotosh Chakroborty, also rubbished reports of a divorce."He (Anurup) told me that it (reports of divorce) was a lie and he never said that. Some people are conspiring to keep the kids away from us, we will not leave anybody and do whatever is needed," he said in Kolkata.

"We will agitate at India Gate if needed but we want our kids back," he added. However, Anurup's father Ajay Bhattacharya had alleged Tuesday that his son was mulling legal separation from his wife as she suffers from acute schizophrenia. He said that his daughter-in-law had attacked his son March 19 and badly injured him and that she had been attacking him for long. Anurup, however, denied the allegations Wednesday.

(Agencies)