Woman back in India 12 years after straying into Pakistan

26 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Geeta Returns to India 13 Years After Wandering Across Border.

As Geeta returns home from Pakistan after a long wait of more than a decade, the latter appealed to to released 459 Pakistani prisoners who are currently in Indian jails.NEW DELHI — A deaf-mute Indian girl stranded in Pakistan for 13 years after wandering over one of the world’s most militarized borders arrived home on Monday to be reunited with the family she has identified from photographs.

Nearly 15 years after she accidentally crossed over to Pakistan, Geeta, a deaf-mute girl whose story has touched people on both sides of the border, returned here today. The story of Geeta, a Hindu woman in her early 20s, has captivated people in both countries at a time of heightened tension and border clashes between the nuclear-armed rivals. “Geeta — welcome home our daughter,” Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Twitter. Pakistan International Airlines flight PK 272 carrying 23-year-old Geeta from Karachi landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport at around 1030 hours where she was given a warm welcome. Wearing a red tunic, her head loosely covered with a matching stole, Geeta, now 23, waved to the schoolchildren and others who had gathered to see her after her arrival. Pakistan high commissioner Abdul Basit will host a reception to Geeta in the evening today and we will be there,” the media head of Pakistan High Commission, Manzoor Memon, expressed.

She was reportedly just 7 or 8 years old when she was found sitting alone on the Samjhauta Express by the Pakistan Rangers 15 years ago at the Lahore railway station. She would point at maps of India, especially to an area in the south of Jharkhand State until she was able to finally communicate she was from India, not Pakistan. The government has also identified two welfare homes for people with disabilities, and Geeta could be sent to one of them if the DNA tests are not conclusive, Swaraj said. Her story came to light after the release of Salman Khan starrer ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ in which the hero unites a girl separated from her Pakistani mother who was visiting India.

Faisal Edhi of the Edhi foundation told reporters in Karachi that they would continue to stay in touch with Geeta through social media and even visit her. Sources had earlier said that Geeta has identified her father, step-mother and siblings from a photograph sent to her by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.

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