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Woman in shelter home in HP claims to be Pakistani: NGO


Shimla: A middle-aged woman lodged in a government-run shelter home near here claims to be a Pakistani national, according to an NGO which has urged the government to look into the issue that has come to light close on the heels of Indian woman Geeta’s return from Pakistan.

The 45-year-old woman in Nari Sewa Sadan at Mashobra identifies herself as Mahammada and claims that she hails from Mohalla Noorana in Gujarat district of Pakistan, according to Ajay Srivastav, Chairman of Umang Foundation.

She has been in the shelter home since August 10, said Srivastav who claimed to have interacted with her in the home.

Her name has been mentioned in the records of the Nari Sadan as “Mamta alias Mahammada, w/o Rajaah, Mohalla Noorana, Gujarat”, he said.

Srivastava said the Directorate of Women and Child Welfare of the Himachal Pradesh government, which runs the shelter home, has not bothered to verify the address as claimed by the woman.

The issue came to light close on the heels of differently-abled Geeta’s return from Pakistan where she was living for over a decade after straying across the border.

“She was spotted by the police in Kasauli and was referred to Sewa Sadan on the orders of the magistrate but finding that her accent was not Gujarati, I asked about her mother tongue and she straightaway said that it is not Gujarati,” he said.

When Srivastava asked her whether she was from the Gujarat state of India or the District Gujarat of Pakistan, she immediately smiled and gave a stunning reply, “Zila Gujarat, Pakistan. Main Pakistani hun Hindustani nahin (I am a Pakistani, not Indian).”

Srivastava said she claims to be wife of one Rajjak whom she married at the age of 20.

Her ‘nikah’ was performed in District Gujarat of Pakistan, she told Srivastava, adding that she has two children — Jamila (16) and Raul (14) who live with their father in Bihar”. However, she could not explain how her husband lives in Bihar when she was married in Pakistan.

“I don’t remember how I came to the hills. Police brought me to this home and I want to go to Pakistan,” she says repeatedly.

She offers’namaz’ and says, “I am a Muslim. But I don’t know why people call me by a new name Mamta,” Srivastava said while seeking her immediate medical checkup and counselling to enable her “recollect and reveal” her background.

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