One of the youngest survivors and key eyewitnesses of the 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai has petitioned the Bombay High Court seeking a government-allotted house for her financially deprived family and to make provisions for her to continue her education.
Devika Rotawan, who is 21 years old now, filed a petition on August 21 through advocate Utsav Bains and said that her family would have to face homelessness because they were unable to pay rent for their room in a chawl at Subhash Nagar, Bandra (East) due to poverty and acute financial conditions. Moreover, she said that due to several ailments, it was not possible for her father and brother to earn livelihood and pay rent.
Rotawan recently took admission to a degree course at Chetna College in Bandra and plans to pursue a career in the civil services.
Rotawan was nine years old at the time of the terrorist attacks and had reached Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), along with her father and brother to catch a train to Pune.
She was shot in the leg at the CSMT on the night of 26/11. One of the witnesses in the terror attacks trial in a local court, she had identified Ajmal Kasab, the only terrorist who was captured alive.
She fell unconscious shortly after she was hit by a bullet. Police had taken her to St George’s hospital, where she underwent six surgeries within two months and was bed-ridden for nearly six months.
She informed HC that after the attacks, several representatives of the central and state government had visited their room in chawl and assured accommodation under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota.
The plea stated that Devika, along with her family, had written several communications seeking relief to the PM and CM, however no response came. Last month, she wrote to the chief secretary of Maharashtra seeking residential accommodation under EWS quota.
She further submitted that all the government assistance received by her was required to be spent on her treatment and post-operative care and nothing of it was left for her education. “All kinds of assurances were made, but they turned out to be hollow promises,” the plea said.
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