26/11: Why This Girl is Called as ‘Kasab Ki Beti’?

India and especially Mumbai will never forget the ill-fated day of November 26, 2008, referred as 26/11. The 2008 Mumbai attacks were a series of 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks lasting four days across Mumbai, perpetrated by 10 members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamic terrorist organisation based in Pakistan. Hundreds of people and many of our brave soldiers lost their lives in this attack. The only terrorist who was caught alive during the attacks was Ajmal Kasab.

Today we will tell you about Devika Natwarlal Rotawan because she has some link with Kasab. Devika is called as Kasab Ki Beti, why? Let us tell you, she was 9 years old when the horrific terrorist attack shook Mumbai. On November 26, 2008, Rotawan was on her way with her father and brother to see her elder brother, who worked in Pune. She recalled,

“We were waiting on the platform when I heard a sound like firecrackers bursting. People began running. My brother had gone to the bathroom when the gunmen came charging into the station. My father told me to run and when I started, I felt a shooting pain. I had been shot in the right leg. Blood began flowing and within seconds I collapsed.”

She further said,

“For two months after the attack, I was in JJ hospital and was operated on several times. The police asked questions but my father did not want me to depose in court then. However, later on, he supported and motivated me.”

She was all about nine years old when she decided to testify against Ajmal Kasab. Rotawan went on to say,

“Ujjwal Nikam sir looked at me as I stood there knowing that I was face to face with the monster who wanted to kill me. When I was asked to tell the court who shot me, I raised my hand and pointed towards Kasab who stood there expressionless.”

The determination of Devika shot her to national fame but it brought with it its own share of hurdles. She told that she was called ‘Kasa Ki Beti in school and lost her friends. She said,

“Everyone met me and praised me, but no one helped me. We are still struggling to survive.”

Meanwhile, her family got threats from terrorist outfits to stop Devika from testifying in court. But all of these had never put Devika’s motivation down. With every hurdle, she is going strong and she aspires to become an IPS officer to fight terrorism and to help those who suffer because of this.