May 20, 2009 6:09:30 pm
Just days after ‘Slumdog’ child star Azharuddin lost his home in the BMC demolition drive,his co-star Rubina Ali found herself homeless as Railway authorities razed her shanty here.
Rubina,9,who played the young Latika in the multiple Oscar winning film,and her family members were on the streets after their home in the Garib Nagar slum in Bandra was pulled down by Western Railway officials.
“I had gone to the market and when I came back they had razed my house. I don’t know where I will sleep tonight,” Rubina said.
Her uncle,Mohiddin,who lives in the same slum,alleged that her father Rafiq Qureshi had been beaten up by the police conducting the demolition drive.
“The police personnel accompanying the railway officials physically assaulted Rafiq and he had to undergo treatment for his injuries at a nearby hospital,” Mohiddin said.
He also alleged that the house had been demolished by mistake while Railway officials were taking down newly built structures on land owned by the authority.
However,a spokesperson for Western Railways said that the demolition was part of a routine drive to free Railway land of encroachments.
“There were about 20 to 25 shanties that were demolished since they were encroaching on railway land,” the spokesperson said.
“Such clearance drives are routinely carried out in order to protect the land from encroachments,” he said,adding that he was unaware about the Slumdog Millionaire child star’s house being among them.
There are some Railway projects in the initial stage which could require the use of the land and so it had to be free of encroachments,the spokesperson added.
Earlier,child actor Azharuddin Ismail’s house located in the same slum was demolished by civic authorities for the second time.
Following the film’s success at the Oscars,some government officials had said the child actors could receive low cost houses,a proposal which subsequently died a silent death.
Rubina’s family was also mired in a recent controversy where a UK tabloid alleged that Rubina’s father Rafiq had attempted to put her up for adoption. Following a complaint by her biological mother Khursheed,police had investigated the case but found no evidence against him.
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