Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 15 July 2020 4.12 PM IST

Devika Rotawan, who was shot in the leg by Kasab, recounts those 26/11 moments


MUMBAI: Devika Rotawan was at her tender age of 10 years when she was shot in the leg by Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab during the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai. On the eleventh anniversary of the Mumbai attacks, Devika shares recollects those moments on the popular Facebook page 'Humans of Bombay'.

11 years ago, 10 heavily-armed Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists sailed into Mumbai from Karachi and wreal havoc in the city, killing 166 and wounding over 300. They split into pairs, and spent the next 72 hours targeting the city's landmarks, including Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Oberoi Trident, the Taj Hotel, Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital, a Jewish community centre among other and carried out a series of coordinated shooting and bombing attacks.

Ajmal Kasab was the sole surviving gunman from the 26/11 Mumbai attacks of 2008. The then 25-year-old was hanged at Pune's Yerwada Jail on November 21, 2012 in a swift and secret execution.

Devika's Facebook post:

"I was barely 10 years old when a bullet pierced my right leg. It happened at CST station. I was with my father and brother and we had stopped for a while to use the restroom. Before we knew it, chaos had erupted all around us. My instinct told me to run and that’s when I saw the man who shot straight at me. I felt so much pain… I collapsed.

The next thing I remember was waking up in the hospital the next day. The doctor informed us about what took place on 26/11. I was so angry. Flashbacks of women and children dying at the station came back to me. But the clearest memory I had was of his face. I spent 1.5 months in the hospital being operated for the wound, but I couldn’t get his face out of my mind.

As soon as I was better, I moved back to my village with my family. My father was contacted by the police to testify in court. We had to identify the attacker since we were some of the only survivors. I wasn’t scared, I wanted him to be punished. Our extended family stopped talking to us after this decision… they thought they would be attacked by terrorists because we were testifying.

I walked to court in crutches. Out of the four men presented to me, I immediately recognised Ajmal Kasab. My heart was filled with anger. I wanted justice right there. That’s also when I made the decision to become an IPS officer.

I thought I was being brave, but after this everyone disassociated from us. My father’s dry fruit shop shut down because no one wanted to do business with him. Our landlords hiked the rent because they think we’ve made money out of the publicity. The State Government’s promise of a flat is still unfulfilled. But we’re not giving up because we did what we had to for the country.

Even though Ajmal Kasab is no more, my anger will only fully subside once I become an IAS officer and fight all this injustice. ‘Till date, I can’t enjoy Diwali or celebrate India’s win in Cricket because the sound of fireworks traumatizes me -- I know I’m not getting all these years back, but there will be an answer someday. They will face the consequence of raising a finger towards India… I will make sure of it.” #SuperHumansofBombay..


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