Abandoned Indian boy could stay on in Britain

February 5th, 2009 - 10:24 am ICT by IANS  

London, Feb 5 (IANS) Despite reports of his impending return to India, a nine-year-old Indian boy could stay on in Britain to be looked after by foster parents a year after he was found abandoned in a west London suburb.Gurrinderjit Singh has been under the care of a foster family approved by the social services department of the local council of Ealing in West London after he was abandoned at a bus-stop in March 2007.

The boy, who did not speak a word of English, walked into a health care centre in Southall, a London suburb with a large Punjabi population, saying he had been left there by a “white uncle.”

DNA tests later traced his family to Punjab, where his maternal grandmother and paternal uncle have both claimed custody of the child. His parents are said to be illegal immigrants in Europe.

However, a spokeswoman for Ealing Council said Wednesday that council authorities are sticking to earlier plans, announced Jan 26, to find the boy “long-term care” in Britain.

She told IANS a High Court hearing was expected in the “next couple of months” to help find him long-term care. Until then the boy would continue to remain in the care of the foster family that is now looking after him.

“We have not put out any statements about DNA tests. All these reports are coming out of India,” she added.

Gurrinderjit’s paternal uncle Kuldeep Singh told the BBC that he had spoken to the boy on the telephone in December and that his heart was set on returning home to India.

“He said he does not like it there and wants to return. He also said he wants to enrol in the school where he had been studying,’” Singh said.

He alleged the boy’s mother wanted him to remain in foster care in Britain because she thought that would secure him British citizenship.

“That’s why she orchestrated this drama which was all very wrong,” he said, adding, “And that’s why we don’t want the child to remain there in the care of police and get shoved from person to person.”

But Gurrinderjit’s maternal grandmother, Gurbachan Kaur, denied the allegations against her daughter.

She said Gurrinderjit’s 13-year-old sister lives with her and that it was natural for the boy to be reunited with his maternal family and sister, rather than with the family of Kuldeep Singh.

“We don’t want him (Kuldeep Singh) to take responsibility; the child should come to us. Where the daughter is, that’s where the brother should be,” the grandmother added.

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