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Sushma’s TV appeal has Bihar couple claiming Geeta is their missing daughter

The claim has been made by Ramswaroop Choudhary and his wife Chinta Devi, both residents of Alinagar village under Sare police station of Nalanda district, about 100 km south east of state capital, Patna.

india Updated: Oct 05, 2017 18:38 IST
Avinash Kumar
Avinash Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
Missing girl Geeta,Pak returned,Sushma Swaraj
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj (right) with Pakistan returned hearing and speech impaired girl Geeta. (ANI file photo)

Just days after external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj started a news television campaign to locate the family of Geeta alias Guddi, a hearing and speech impaired Indian girl brought back from Pakistan in October 2015, a couple from Nalanda district of south central Bihar has claimed she is their long lost daughter.

The claim has been made by Ramswaroop Choudhary and his wife Chinta Devi, both residents of Alinagar village under Sare police station of Nalanda, about 100 km south east of state capital, Patna,

Choudhary told HT that their speech impaired daughter had gone missing from a railway station when they were returning home from Karnal in Haryana, where they worked as laboruers at a brick kiln.The incident had happened about a decade ago.

Choudhary, who plans to meet the Nalanda DM about the matter on Friday, said if he and his wife came face to face with Geeta she would certainly recognise them. As proof of the girl’s identity, he said a tattoo and a cut mark on her head.

Neibours of Choudhary, including Maderan Choudhary, Shyama Devi and Mala Sinha, said going by the picture of Geeta captured on mobile phones from TV grabs, Geeta bore a close resemblance to Choudhary, who claims to be her father,

Choudhary said he started pursuing this matter after one of his relatives, Yogendra Choudhary, currently staying at Asansol in West Bengal, informed him about some TV channels displaying a girl’s image, which could be his lost daughter.

For the past few days, TV news channels have been telecasting an appeal by Swaraj, Geeta by her side, asking the people at large to help the government in finding the girl’s parents who were most likely to be from Bihar or Jharkhand.

She also announced a award of Rs 1 lakh for anyone helping track her parents.

Swaraj even requested the chief ministers of both the states to ensure that her appealwas shown by all cable TV networks for the next seven days so that her message travelled far and wide and there was a better chance of someone coming forward to help her.

Swaraj said the girl had learnt the sign language during the last two years and was able to communicate. She had also learnt computers and stitching. She has been staying at an institution for hearing and speech impaired people run by an NGO in Indore (Madhya Pradesh).

“At times she becomes very emotional and starts crying. My appeal to her parents -- please come forward and take your daughter. I am assuring that we will not let her become a burden on you,” Swaraj said with Geeta by her side.

“We will take care of her including her marriage and studies. Your daughter is desperate to meet you,” she said.

Sources recalled that soon after Geeta had come back from Pakistan, one Janardan Mahto of Ujiarpur (Samastipur) in north Bihar had claimed Geeta was his daughter. But she failed to recognise him when they came face to face and even a DNA test proved otherwise.

Thereafter, the Bihar government had run newspaper advertisement seeking leads that could help located Geeta’s parents but to no avail.

Geeta was just 7 or 8 years old when she was found sitting alone in the Samjhauta Express by the Pakistan Rangers at the Lahore railway station. In Pakistan, she was looked after for many years by the Karachi-based Edhi foundation, run by philanthropist (now late) Abdul Sattar Edhi and Bilquis Edhi.

First Published: Oct 05, 2017 18:38 IST