Woman claims she does not remember how she arrived at the shelter but claims to be from Pakistan
An NGO in India has claimed that a woman suffering from a mental illness and currently residing in a shelter home belongs to the Gujrat district of Pakistan, and wishes to return home.
However, the Department of Social and Women Empowerment, which runs the shelter, denied the claim stating that Mahammada, 42, traces her origin to the Indian state of Gujarat, and not Pakistan.
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Reports however, suggest that Mahammada was taken to the Nari Sewa Sadan shelter in August after the police found her at Kasauli, Himachal.
Further, Umang Foundation, a public welfare trust claimed on Tuesday that the woman is a Pakistani national and wishes to be sent back home if her family is traced.
Chairperson of the foundation, Ajai Srivastava said that upon talking to the woman at length, she told him “her name was Mahammada, was married to Rajaah and lived in Mohalla Noorana of Gujrat in Pakistan.”
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“She does not remember how she reached Kasauli, from where she was brought to the shelter upon orders of a local court,” he explained, adding that “Her story seems similar to Geeta’s — the deaf and mute girl who strayed from Pakistan in 2003 and returned to India after intervention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and an NGO in Pakistan.”
Adamant on the fact that Mahammada is a Pakistani, Srivastava said that he asked “rights activists in Pakistan to verify her address, but they could not make much headway. The matter needs further verification.”
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However, denying Srivastava’s claim, Director of the Social and Women Empowerment department, J K Katwal said “I have personally spoken to the woman thrice. She traces her origin to Gujarat (India) and married in Bihar. Her husband is in the police service there.”
“We are looking at details and have written to local authorities in Gujarat and Bihar. It is not fair to jump to conclusions before the reports are received. I doubt she is Pakistani,” Katwal added, while assuring that other than health checks, the woman is being provided with proper care and counselling until her family is traced.
This article originally appeared on The Indian Express