Geeta fails to recognise couple claiming to be her parents

Geeta, the deaf and mute girl who returned to India from Pakistan recently, did not recognise a couple from Uttar Pradesh who arrived here claiming that she was their long-lost daughter, district authorities today said.

This is the third instance where Geeta did not recognise the people who claimed to be her parents. Earlier she had failed to recognise the people who claimed that they were her parents or family members after she arrived in New Delhi, Indore district collector P Narhari said.

Geeta, who lived in Pakistan for about 15 years after accidentally landing in the country as a child, is currently lodged at an institution for the hearing- and speech-impaired here.

“We showed Geeta the photos of Ramraj Gautam (45) and his wife Anara Devi, hailing from Rama-ka-Purva in Pratapgarh district of UP, who claim that Geeta is their daughter and her real name is Savita. But she didn’t recognise them,” Narhari said.

About Gautam’s and his wife’s application for permission to meet her, the collector said he had forwarded it to the Ministry of External Affairs for decision. “We are also making efforts to trace her family,” said the collector.

“We are playing the role of guardian,” Narhari said, adding that unauthorised persons and outsiders were not allowed to enter the institute where the girl is living.

However, she was not being kept in isolation and wasn’t cut off from the outside world, he said, adding she had made friends at the hostel and recently even went out for a stroll.

Geeta was only 7-8 years old when the Pakistan Rangers found her sitting alone on the Samjhauta Express at Lahore 15 years ago. She was adopted by Edhi Foundation’s Bilquis Edhi and lived with her in Karachi. She returned to India on October 26.