Thu Apr 13, 2017 05:54AM
Iranian charity worker Narges Kalbasi Ashtari is seen at the Isfahan International Airport on her return to Iran, on April 12, 2017. (Photo by ISNA)
Iranian charity worker Narges Kalbasi Ashtari is seen at the Isfahan International Airport on her return to Iran, on April 12, 2017. (Photo by ISNA)

A young Iranian charity worker, who had been embroiled in a criminal case in India since 2014, has returned home after being acquitted by an Indian appeals court last month.

Narges Kalbasi Ashtari, 28, arrived in Iran’s central city of Isfahan at noon on Wednesday and was warmly welcomed by his family and friends at the city’s international airport.

She had been convicted of “involuntary manslaughter” in 2014, when a five-year-old boy disappeared during a riverside picnic organized by her in India’s eastern Odisha State. The boy was later found dead. He had accidentally fallen into the river and died. Her parents were accompanying him.

On December 5 last year, Ashtari, the head of the Prishan charity foundation, was sentenced to a year in jail for “manslaughter,” a charge she denied.

Later that same month, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif vowed that Tehran would use all its capacity to secure her release.

After a lengthy court battle, she was finally cleared of the charge by an Indian appeals court on March 25.

The founder of Prishan orphanage home in the Rayagada district in Odisha, Ashtari, an orphan from both parents herself, has been a mother-like to numerous under-privileged children in India.

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The following photos show Ashtari’s reunion with her family and friends at the Isfahan International Airport.