Germany envoy summoned by India over Ariha Shah placed in foster care

This week, India summoned the German ambassador Philipp Ackermann and demanded that Ariha Shah, a two-year-old Indian girl who has spent more than 20 months in foster care in Berlin, be sent home immediately.

After suffering an accidental injury in September 2021, Shah was given into the care of the Jugendamt in Germany. Her ongoing placement in foster care has strained bilateral relations.

India gives the matter top priority, according to Arindam Bagchi, a spokesperson for the ministry of external affairs. “We believe that at a minimum, the child’s cultural rights and her rights as an Indian are being infringed upon by her being placed under German foster care,” he told a weekly media briefing.

“The German ambassador to India was summoned earlier this week and our concerns were clearly conveyed to him. We have also asked for early return of the child to India. We will continue to press the German authorities on this matter,” he said.

India has asked Germany to bring back the infant as soon as possible, arguing that it is essential for the child to grow up in her own language and culture. According to German police, the child was taken into foster care after her allegedly harassing Indian parents.

S Jaishankar, India’s external affairs minister, brought up the matter with his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock in December 2022 and expressed India’s worries over the infant.

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