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Distraught parents of toddler stranded in India 'want their son back'

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 3/06/2020 Jonathan Kearsley

The distraught parents of an Australian-born toddler have pleaded with federal authorities to allow them to be reunited with their son, who they say is stranded in India.

Joy and Jashan haven't seen Arhaan since February 29, when he travelled overseas with his grandparents to see extended family.

After the group left, the Australian government introduced measures which effectively prevented non-citizens from entering.

a little girl posing for a picture: The young boy left Australia with his grandparents © Supplied The young boy left Australia with his grandparents a boy sitting in a tree: His parents are desperate to see their son again. © Supplied His parents are desperate to see their son again.

Then India's government shut its borders, meaning Arhaan's parents can't travel to bring him home.

His tearful father Joy, an Australian citizen, said: "We just want our son back, that's all".

The family, who live in Queanbeyan in NSW, say Arhaan's grandparents can't bring him home either as they were on tourist visas, and would need an exemption from the Border Force Commissioner.

Joy said he has applied for an exemption twice and was denied on both occasions.

"They said 'you don't have a compassionate reason'," he told 9News.

"We've tried a lot, but we've failed," Jashan added.

Joy and Jashan say the battle has been exhausting, stressful and left them without sleep, and Joy has been diagnosed with depression.

a group of people posing for the camera: Joy and Jashan haven't seen their son in months. © 9News Joy and Jashan haven't seen their son in months.

"We contacted government agencies, Australian High Commission back in India, no help at all," Joy said.

"I'm worried about two people at the moment, my son and my husband as well," Jashan said.

Tomorrow, Prime Minister Scott Morrison will hold talks with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Late today, on the eve of those talks, 9News was told Border Force will grant an exemption to Joy's mother only.

Border Force issued a statement saying, "The ABF may require and request additional supporting evidence when considering a case and this is what occurred for this particular case.

If you or anyone you know is suffering from depression, call Lifeline on 13 11 14, Beyondblue on 1300 22 4636, or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

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