MUMBAI: Devika Rotawan, 21, a key eyewitness of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, moved Bombay high court on Sunday to seek a residential allotment under the economically weaker section quota and funds for education on compassionate grounds.
On November 26, 2008, Rotawan, then barely 10-years-old, was shot on her right leg by Mohammad Ajmal Kasab at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus. She recovered after six surgeries and six bed-ridden months.
Claiming that she may be rendered roofless as she is unable to pay her monthly rent in a Bandra chawl, Rotawan, in her petition, said that last month she wrote to the state chief secretary to allot her a house on compassionate grounds.
She had received a compensation of Rs 3.2 lakh from Indian Railways and Central and state governments after the 2008 attacks. In 2017, on her plea, then CM Devendra Fadnavis had given her Rs 10 lakh.
There is no specific law to rehabilitate terror victims beyond compensation, her petition stated. It sought to argue that for ‘restorative justice’, compensation cannot be a sole remedy and ought to include ‘rehabilitation, healthcare assistance, educational support’ as these victims are ‘special cases’.
Her petition, filed through advocate Utsav Bains, said that her and her father’s testimonies had helped nail Kasab and the state officials had promised her an EWS house.
On the night of November 26, 2008, 10 Pakistan-based terrorists launched coordinated shooting and bombing attacks in Mumbai, killing 166 people and injuring hundreds. Kasab was captured alive. He was convicted and sentenced to death. He was hanged at Yerwada Central Jail in Pune in November 2012.
She recently took admission to Arts degree in Chetna college and wants to join civil services later. She said her brother has had three spinal surgeries and the family was unable to pay the last month’s rent of Rs 10,000 to their landlord where they have been residing for three years.