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The Story Of Geeta, The Indian Woman Stranded In Pakistan For Over A Decade

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 27/10/2015 Nadya Agrawal
ATHENA IMAGE © Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images ATHENA IMAGE

A young Indian woman who is believed to have been stranded in neighboring Pakistan for more than a decade received a warm welcome in her home country on Monday, but there are still questions around who her real family is. 

Geeta, who officials believe to be in her 20s, and who has speech and hearing impediments, was a child when she accidentally boarded a train to Pakistan. She was found by Pakistani security forces at a railway station in the city of Lahore and taken to a shelter in Karachi, which is run by the Edhi Foundation, Pakistan's largest welfare organization.

Geeta's story came into the spotlight after her guardians used the popularity of a Bollywood movie "Bajrangi Bhaijaan," which tells a similar story to Geeta's, to find her family, reported the Guardian. 

The Indian High Commission in Islamabad began sending her photos of several families who claimed she was related to them.

 

Geeta traveled to India after recognizing a family from the state of Bihar as her father, step-mother and siblings. But when she met them on Monday, Geeta said she didn't recognize them after all, reported the BBC. 

Another development that further complicates the story is that the family from Bihar has stated that their daughter went missing after she got married, but Geeta maintains she has never been married.

Three other Indian families have also claimed Geeta is related to them, according to Indian publication Zee News.

Indian government officials said they will conduct DNA tests to determine if Geeta is truly part of the family from Bihar, reported the BBC. 

If the tests are negative, Geeta will be housed in one of two "identified institutions" in either New Delhi or the city of Indore while Indian officials continue searching for her family, according to the Times of India.

Meanwhile, Geeta has met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who welcomed her back home.

"I am very happy," Geeta told reporters through a sign language interpreter, according to the Associated Press. "In Pakistan, I used to often feel sad."  

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