Lost in Pakistan, Geeta to return home after 15 yrs

Lost in Pakistan, Geeta to return home after 15 yrs

Fifteen years after she was found on the Samjhauta Express by Pakistan Rangers at the Lahore Railway Station, Geeta, a deaf and mute woman now in her early 20s, is all set to return home.

“Geeta will be back in India soon. We have located her family. She will be handed over to them only after the DNA test,” tweeted External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

“If the DNA testing verifies that they are indeed her parents then she will be handed over to them. If not, we have identified two institutions one in Delhi and one in Indore, which are meant for people with certain disabilities,” said Vikas Swarup, spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

After the Bollywood film “Bajrangi Bhaijan” made waves in Pakistan and India, Ansar Burney, a social activist in Pakistan, tweeted about Geeta in August.

The movie revolves around a speech-impaired girl from Pakistan found in India. An Indian man then reunites the girl with her family in Pakistan. Sushma, who took keen interest in the case, asked Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, T C A Raghavan, to get in touch with Geeta. Media reports prompted several couples living in different states to claim that Geeta was their daughter. The MEA, however, took a cautious approach and Sushma wrote to chief ministers of the states from where the claims came from, requesting them to verify their veracity. Based on the reports of the respective state governments, the MEA shortlisted three couples.

Their photographs were sent to the high commission and were later shown to Geeta. She identified one of the pictures as that of her parents. The couple she identified live in Bihar.

The Indian High Commission in Islamabad is likely to give her an emergency certificate to facilitate her travel from Karachi to New Delhi. She is likely to reach the national capital on October 26.

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