26 Aug 2020 12:14 PM GMT
A survivor of the 26/11 terrorist attacks that took place in 2008 at Mumbai, has filed a writ petition before the Bombay High Court seeking directions to the State and other respondents to provide an accommodation for the victim and her family under the EWS scheme and to make provision for her education on compassionate grounds. On November 26, 2008, Devika Rotawan along with her...
A survivor of the 26/11 terrorist attacks that took place in 2008 at Mumbai, has filed a writ petition before the Bombay High Court seeking directions to the State and other respondents to provide an accommodation for the victim and her family under the EWS scheme and to make provision for her education on compassionate grounds.
On November 26, 2008, Devika Rotawan along with her father Natwarlal and brother Jayesh reached CST station at around 9 pm to catch a train to Pune. As they were waiting for the train, they heard a huge explosion and firing started. As the petitioner was leaving with her family, she got shot on her right leg. The bullet was fired by Ajmal Kasab from an AK-47 rifle. Thereafter, the petitioner fell unconscious and was taken to St.George's Hospital.
The petitioner was operated upon 6 times and her injuries were treated for about a month and a half after that. She was unable to walk even after six months of the incident. Now, in her twenties, the petitioner was 9-years-old at the time of the terrorist attack.
According to the petitioner, her father does not have a permanent source of income and they are very poor and live in a chawl. After the 26/11 attack, the State government promised her accommodation under the EWS scheme and monetary compensation for her education. The petitioner admits that some compensation was awarded to her but it was spent on medical expenses and post-operative care.
During the trial, both the petitioner and her father testified in Court. She identified Ajmal Kasab as the shooter at CST station on 26/11. The testimony of the petitioner and her father was considered to be of great importance by the trial judge and was relied upon heavily by him, the petition claims.
The petition states-
"It is humbly submitted that the petitioner and her father have written a number of communications to the offices of the Hon'ble Prime Minister and the Chief Minister seeking their help, however no response to the same was ever made by the authorities. Recently, on 19.07.2020, the petitioner made a representation before the Chief Secretary of the Government of Maharashtra requesting for the allotment of residential accommodation under EWS scheme on compassionate grounds, however no response was received by the petitioner."
Petition also contends that there ought to be a law in place to provide rehabilitation to the victims not just compensation-
"Immediately after the attacks by the terrorists, the government expresses concern and solidarity with the families of the deceased and victims, however attention towards them melts away soon after the memory of the incident fades. It is humbly submitted that the reason for such an indifferent attitude towards victims in addition to payment of compensation."
Finally, the petitioner urges that her father is more than 60 years old, her brother is suffering from a spinal cord problem for which he has been operated upon thrice and the petitioner herself was diagnosed with tuberculosis recently. Having no source of income, the petitioner and her family are not even in a position to meet expenses for basic necessities.
Moreover, the petitioner passed 12th standard recently but due to financial constraints, she was forced to discontinue her education. Thus, she seeks directions to respondents to make provisions for her education on compassionate grounds
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