26/11 probe: 10-year-old girl identifies Kasab in court
A ten-year-old girl, rendered disabled during 26/11 terror strikes, today identified in court arrested gunman Mohammed Ajmal Kasab as one of the two gunmen who had fired indiscriminately at passengers inside the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.india Updated: Jun 10, 2009 16:45 IST
A ten-year-old girl, rendered disabled during 26/11 terror strikes, today identified in court arrested gunman Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab as one of the two gunmen who had fired indiscriminately at passengers inside the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.
Devika Rotawan, the youngest eyewitness to depose in the terror strikes trial, was asked by the court if she could identify the gunman among the three accused present in the dock.
All three accused, including Kasab stood in the dock, and the ten-year-old pointed at the Pakistani gunman. He, however, did not react.
Describing the events on the night of November 26 Devika said, "There was a loud explosion, at that time my father said we should leave and holding me in his arms he started running in one direction while my brother ran in another direction."
"Just as we were leaving I saw two persons firing at people. I received a bullet injury in my right leg," she said.
"My leg broke, and blood spilled out," Devika said.
Devika was among three witnesses to depose before the court regarding the terror strike at the CST rail terminus.
Her father, Natwarlal, and a Assistant Police Inspector who were injured in the firing at the terminus, also deposed before the court today.
The ten-year-old, who uses crutches to walk, was assisted by her father in walking inside the courtroom.
She preferred to depose in Hindi as her brother and father looked on.
Special judge M L Tahaliyani, while verifying if she was a competent witness, asked her whether she knew the meaning of taking oath and Devika said she did.
"All I know is that I have to speak the truth and it is a sin to tell lies," the ten-year-old said.
Devika told the court the family was planning to travel to Pune and were sitting in the main waiting hall of CST when the attack took place.
Defence counsel for Kasab, Abbas Kazmi chose not to cross-examine the witness and special judge M L Tahaliyani asked the girl some questions.
When asked by the court if her testimony was true, Devika said, "It is not correct to say that I am telling lies about Kasab opening fire. I have taken oath in the name of God I will not tell lies."
The ten-year-old also denied that she had identified Kasab only because the police had asked her to do so.
Earlier, when the girl was brought in the court Kazmi objected to her being examined as a witness since her father, Natwarlal, had earlier deposed before the court before her.
It was an attempt to prejudice the court since she was not a competent witness, Kazmi said.
The girl's statement was not recorded earlier and was not cited as a witness by the prosecution, the defence counsel argued.
The court, however, overruled the objection and allowed special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam to examine her.
First Published: Jun 10, 2009 10:20 IST