Lucknow: A family from Uttar Pradesh’s Pratapgarh district has now claimed that deaf and mute Geeta, who returned from Pakistan after being separated from her parents over a decade ago, is their daughter.
Ramraj Gautam and his wife Anara Devi, residents of Maheshganj, late Monday met Divisional Commissioner of Allahabad Rajan Shukla and said they were ready for “all probes and necessary tests to get their daughter back”.
Now in her early 20s, Geeta was about 11 years old when she inadvertently crossed into Pakistan in 2003. She was spotted by the Pakistan Rangers in Lahore, and was handed over to the Edhi Foundation, a social welfare organisation that looked after her for over 10 years.
Geeta returned to India on Monday and was received by high ranking Indian and Pakistani officials at the Delhi airport.
The development came after Geeta refused to identify Bihar couple Mahatos as her family. The couple had claimed Geeta was their lost daughter.
However, neighbours said the news of Mahatos claiming Geeta their own made Ramraj Gautam and Anara Devi very “anxious and restless”.
Shukla directed Allahabad District Magistrate Amrit Tripathi to get a DNA test done on the couple.
Meanwhile, the couple and other family members have left for New Delhi to meet Geeta. The couple say Geeta is their daughter Savita, who got separated from them in Chapra, Bihar some 11 years back.
The family has also shown officials many old family photographs where they said Geeta can be seen as a small girl.
Iranian President Hassan Rohani and visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan have agreed to set up a joint border “reaction force” to counter terrorism, Iranian state media reported.
“We agreed to create a joint rapid reaction force at the borders for combatting terrorism,” Rohani was quoted as saying on April 22 during a joint press conference with Khan, who was officially welcomed in the Iranian capital earlier in the day.
The announcement comes following tensions between the two countries who have in recent months accused each other of not doing enough to stamp out militants allegedly sheltering across the border.
“Pakistan will not allow any militant group to operate” from its soil, Khan said at the press conference while adding that the problem of terrorism was “increasing differences” between both countries.
“So it was very important for me to come here and come with our security chief that we resolve this issue,” Khan said.
Citing a militant attack on Pakistani security forces in Baluchistan on April 18, he said, Pakistan’s security chief will be meeting his Iranian counterpart on April 22 to discuss how both countries can cooperate in not allowing their soil to be used by militant groups.
Stressing that “no third country” could harm Iran-Pakistan ties, an apparent reference to the United States, Rohani said Tehran was ready to boost trade and business ties with Islamabad.
For his part, Khan said his visit to Tehran aimed to “find ways to increase trade and cooperation…in energy and other areas,” noting that two-way trade was “very limited.”
Khan arrived in Iran on April 21 on his first official visit to the Islamic republic for talks set to focus on strengthening bilateral ties, “fighting terrorism, and safeguarding borders,” Iranian state media reported.
The two countries have in recent months accused each other of not doing enough to stamp out militants allegedly sheltering across the border.
The two-day trip started with a stopover in the holy city of Mashhad, where Khan visited the shrine of Imam Reza, who is revered by Shi’ite Muslims.
The visit comes a day after Pakistan asked Iran to take action against terrorist groups believed to be behind the killing of 14 Pakistani soldiers earlier this month.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on April 20 that 15 gunmen wearing military uniforms ambushed a bus in southwestern Balochistan Province on April 18, killing 14 Pakistani Army personnel.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a letter to the Iranian government that the assailants came from an alliance of three Baluch terrorist organizations based in Iran.
Qureshi told reporters that Khan would take up the matter with Iranian authorities.
Earlier this year, Iran called on Pakistan to take action against a militant group behind a deadly attack on the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).