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Another Slumdog star homeless

Seven days after Slumdog Millionaire star Azharuddin Ismail’s home was demolished, his co-star Rubina Ali’s pink home was reduced to rubble.

india Updated: May 21, 2009 00:56 IST
Naomi Canton

Seven days after

Slumdog Millionaire

star Azharuddin Ismail’s home was demolished, his co-star Rubina Ali’s pink home was reduced to rubble.

On Wednesday morning, the 100 sq ft house of the nine-year-old was razed.

Her family’s shack stands on Bandra railway station and was the first of about 20 shacks to be demolished near the tracks.

Her father, Raufiq Querishi (32), was in the house when the Western Railway officials accompanied by the Railway police came and knocked it down. He also alleged that they beat him up and was treated at Bhabha Hospital in Bandra for a fractured arm and bruises.

Assistant Police Inspector, Vishwanath Phatangare of Nirmal Nagar police station, said: “It was peaceful and nobody got hurt. Rubina’s father has not approached us to lodge the complaint.”

By 3 pm, the area was swarming with media and spectators.

S.S. Gupta, the spokesman for Western Railway, said: “The Western Railway conducted a drive to remove soft illegal encroachments which were close to the railway tracks near platform 7. The details of their occupants were not with us.”

Standing on the torn-down planks, Rubina said: “The Railway Police thrashed my dad. My father will now build a house in the same place.”

Her step mother Munni Querishi (28), who is four months’ pregnant, said she would have to sleep in the open.

“I returned from the market and saw people pulling down the house with sticks. They hadn’t given us any notice,” Munni said.

“I tried to stop them but they said they would arrest me. They beat Raufiq saying that we were slow in moving out our belongings. Rubina is a big star and yet the police don’t respect her. They knew she was staying here and yet they razed the shack.”

Mohiddin Khan (40), Rubina’s uncle, said: “Rubina is a big star, she made India famous. She helped win Oscars and now her house has been demolished.”

After Raufiq returned from the hospital, with his arm in plaster, he said: “The police didn’t know it was Rubina’s house. “Someone had built a new house and so demolished all of them. The police were beating someone else up and I intervened and they beat me up.”

“The Jai Ho Trust is still looking for a place for us,” he added. “Once my arm is better, I will build our house again on the same spot.”

Azharuddin’s home that was demolished last week has been rebuilt.

His father Mohammed (65), a TB patient, was resting inside his new makeshift shack, double the size of his old one, but with a proper bed and television.

“This is how they treat the Oscar children,” he said.

(With inputs from Rachna Pratihar)