India urges Germany to send back baby Ariha from foster care
The government of the Republic of India has urged the Federal Republic of Germany to send back Ariha Shah, the two-and-a-half-year-old baby who has been in Berlin’s foster care for 20 months, to India.
India’s external affairs ministry expressed concern over Germany’s decision to abruptly shift the baby to a different foster care arrangement. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of India called for her early return to India.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a statement, “We urge German authorities to do all that is necessary to send Ariha to India at the earliest, which is also her inalienable right as an Indian national. We are dismayed to learn that the child was abruptly shifted away from her current foster parent to a specialized foster care arrangement.”
Who is Ariha Shah?
Ariha Shah is a toddler living in Germany. The German authorities took the baby away from her Indian parents in 2021 when she was just seven months old. The German authorities made allegations of sexual assault against Ariha Shah’s parents.
Ariha was taken to a hospital in Germany by her parents after being injured in an external perennial area, or the outer genital area. Later on, German authorities conducted an investigation into the matter. After the investigation, the authorities dropped the assault charges and accused the parents of negligence. They did not return the baby to the parents.
Recently, Eknath Shinde, Maharashtra’s Chief Minister, also wrote a letter to India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, urging him to bring the baby back to the country.
India has repeatedly urged Germany to send Ariha to India. In December, Jaishankar talked to Annalena Baerbock, the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany, about the baby.
Bagchi said, “The embassy has repeatedly requested German authorities to ensure that Ariha’s connection with her religious and linguistic background is not compromised.”