Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

Indian couple allege "racism" as son is taken away by Social Services

An Indian couple in Oxford have expressed their outrage after their five-year-old son was taken away by social services on suspicion the boy was "improperly touched" by the father.

Rajap Puri and Shruti Beri, from Rose Hill, Oxfordshire, say social services and police were called to their son Achintya's Primary School last month after the boy told teachers his father had "a bad habit" who did "dirty things".

The couple say the school and child protection authorities had interpreted Achintya's comments as "a case of sexual molestation".

Mrs Beri, who runs a clothing shop in Rose Hill, told the Times of India that the her son had merely been referring to his father's "social drinking habit".

"Rajat is a social drinker and when he would have a drink or a smoke over the weekend, Achintya would want to do the same", Mrs Beri told the Times of India.

"I would then tell him that what his dad was doing was bad.  Somehow Achintya, when asked in school about his father, ended up saying his dad does bad things", she added.

Reports say Achintya was placed in foster care on March 06 and the parents' access to the youngster has been severely restricted.

"The last time I met him, he had bruises on his back and face, and was terrified... he was being kept in a dark room and was scared.  A health assessment on March 25 showed the bruises. We reached out to our area MP and chief of social services, but no one got back," Mrs Beri claimed.

The couple - originally from Punjab but who had moved to the UK in 2009 after living in South Africa for five years - allege the authorities are unable to grasp the differences in British and Indian culture and are racially motivated, with Mrs Beri claiming she was once referred to as "a bloody Asian".

The couple claim they have written to their local MP, social services and the Prime Minister but has been left in the dark as investigations continue.

More to follow.



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