Geeta arrives in India, after 15 years

A deaf-mute woman who lost her family when she wandered over one of the world’s most militarized borders as a child made an emotional return to India on Monday, Oct 26, to be reunited with the family she has identified from a photograph.

Developing Story : Live Updates

Oct 26 3:42 pm IST : After meeting the family which she had earlier recognized in the photo, Geeta has refused to recognize them.

Oct 26 3:44 pm IST:  We will still get a DNA test done to rule out all possibilities, says EAM Sushma Swaraj.

Oct 26 3:46 pm IST: No matter if we find her parents or not, Geeta is a daughter of India & we will take care of her, says EAM Sushma Swaraj.

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Some 15 years have passed since speech and hearing impaired Geeta strayed across the border into Pakistan.

Geeta flew into the international airport in Delhi on a Pakistan International Airlines flight from Karachi at 10.20am, accompanied by five representatives of the Edhi Foundation, including Bilqees Edhi, the Pakistani woman who cared for her and led a campaign for her return to India.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj greeted the profoundly hearing and speech impaired woman with a tweet: “Geeta – welcome home our daughter.” As she emerged from the airport, Geeta shyly waved to TV camera crews and smiled before being driven away.

pakistan-india-reunion_5aa52122-7ba0-11e5-ba56-8cfa9414553dSwaraj later met Geeta, clad in a red and white salwar-kameez, and the team from Edhi Foundation. Photos tweeted by the external affairs ministry spokesperson showed Swaraj embracing Geeta, whose story captivated people on both sides of the border after the recent success of Bajrangi Bhaijaan, a film with a similar storyline.

Though Geeta, believed to be 23, has identified a family in Bihar from a photograph provided by the Indian high commission in Islamabad, she will be reunited with them only after DNA tests. If the tests turn out negative, she will be placed in a home either in Delhi or Indore.


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