A team of doctors from the AIIMS, took blood samples of Geeta. Janardhan Mahato, who claims to be her father

Geeta with Sushma Swaraj

The story of deaf-mute Geeta got further complicated on Monday when she refused to recognise the Mahato family. Stranded in Pakistan 15 years ago, she arrived here to a rosy welcome. The family from Bihar had claimed Geeta as their lost daughter. In the chambers of external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, where Mahato family was made to sit face-to-face, Geeta didn’t make any emotional bonding and preferred to stay with Indore based sign language expert Monika Punjabi.A team of doctors from the AIIMS, took blood samples of Geeta. Janardhan Mahato, who claims to be her father. The father has also already given his blood samples and is currently being tested at the Hyderabad based Central Forensic Laboratory.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the Pakistani media had highlighted her case way back in 2012, it created ripples only after movie Bajrangi Bhaijaan which had a story on similar lines. Sushma took a political swipe at the previous UPA government for not showing pro-activeness, saying, “We came to power in 2014…There is a need to show pro-activeness on certain levels to settle such issues.”Recounting that when after the Salman Khan blockbuster hit screens and the electronic media raised the issue of Geeta, minister of external affairs immediately asked Indian High Commissioner TCA Raghavan to visit Karachi along with his wife to verify claims of Eidhi foundation and Geeta.Armed with sketchy details and pictures, which were displayed and broadcast through media, four families from Punjab, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar had approached the ministry of external affairs claiming the mute girl is their child. “I asked chief ministers of these four states to verify claims. And finally it was only the Bihar family which was somewhat closer to reality. She (Geeta) responded to their pictures as well, when she was shown it in Karachi,” said Sushma. Sushma, however, hastened to add that their were loopholes in Mahato story as well. “They said Geeta had been married and had left her husbands’ home. But she was just 11, when she wandered over the border. And Geeta also denies she had married. But we still took their story, but called for DNA testing,” said the external affairs minister.Swaraj, said: “It doesn’t matter if we find her parents or not. She is a daughter of India and we will take care of her.” The government has already identified an Indore-based NGO working with speech and hearing impaired people to teach Geeta. At first, she was kept at a children’s home in Lahore, where she was given the Muslim name Fatima. She would point at maps of India, especially to an area somewhere in Bihar until she was able to finally communicate she was from India, and not a Pakistani.Manoj, claiming to be Geeta’s brother, said Geeta must have been confused right now and hoped once after settling down, she will recognise her family. He claimed that Geeta was married and used to live with her husband when she got lost from a ‘Baisakhi fair’.

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Geeta’s story gets complicated, refuses to recognise Indian family