Geeta,the deaf-and-mute Indian girl who is stranded in Pakistan for quite some time now, has finally found some solace after an Indian social worker filed a petition in a Karachi court seeking her custody. The social worker, Momineen Malik, approached the district and sessions court (south).
The court has issued summons to Abdul SattarEdhi, the chairman of Edhi Foundation, the charity group which is currently taking care of Geeta, along with few others involved in Geeta’s case.
Malik has also decided to help Geetafind her parents in India. Looking into Malik’s petition, district court judge Ahmed Saba issued notices to all the respondents with direction to appear in court along with Geeta next Monday. Though Momineen Malik is the petitioner and is also a lawyer by profession, Geeta’s case would be represented by a local lawyer. Geeta’s application has been moved under Section 552 of the Pakistani law which deals with the cases of abducted females. Based on the fact that Geeta was under the age of 16 when she crossed into Pakistani territory, Malik has asked the court for Geeta’s custody in order to hand her over to her parents in India.
Though Geeta’s parents are yet to be located, the Indian government has been taking keen interest in her case and are trying to find them as soon as possible. Geeta, now 23, mistakenly crossed over into Pakistan when she was 11. She was found sitting alone and disorientated on Samjhauta Express in Lahore when she was a child.
Pakistani soldiers believed that she had come from India after crossing the Wagah border on the train. The soldiers took her to the local office of the Edhi foundation.
Although the Edhi foundation had notified Indian embassy officials in Pakistan much earlier but India had failed to act.
“We contacted the Indian High Commission twice in 2011. People from the High Commission visited her in Karachi, took her particulars, but nothing came of it,” said Anwar Kazmi, a senior official from the Edhi Foundation.
In fact, even her name ‘Geeta’ was given to her by the wife of the charity’s founder, when she realised that Geeta was a Hindu from her gestures such as folding palms and touching the feet of elders.
Her story became a sensation on both sides of the border following the massive success of Salman Khan’s Bollywood film ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’, which revolves almost around a similar story. Salman Khan has himself said that he would love to meet Geeta after news emerged that she wanted to meet him. But he also warned that if we cannot give her a better life, there is no point in bringing her back