Page last updated at 16:18 GMT, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 17:18 UK

Girl 'identifies Mumbai gunman'

By Prachi Pinglay
BBC News, Mumbai

An Indian soldier surveys the Taj Mahal Palace Tower Hotel in Mumbai, during the attack in November
The Mumbai attacks traumatised many Indians

A 10-year-old girl has been giving evidence in the trial of the man alleged to be the sole surviving gunman from last November's Mumbai attacks.

The witness, Devika, identified Mohammed Ajmal Amir Qasab as the man who fired on the night of 26 November at the city's railway station.

At least 57 people were killed in that incident and many others were injured.

Mr Qasab has pleaded not guilty to waging war against India, murder and possessing explosives.

More than 170 people died in various attacks across Mumbai on 26 November, including nine gunmen.


Devika Rotawan is the youngest witness to give evidence in the trial and answered questions in court clearly and calmly.

Indian commando in Mumbai
The security forces killed all the attackers except Mr Qasab

She used crutches as a result of injuries sustained during the attack and walked with difficulty.

Dressed in an orange frock and with a short crop of hair, she looked at her father often when questioning began.

Judge ML Tahiliyani talked to her and determined that she was able to take the oath and answer prosecution questions.

'Not lying'

"We were at the train station because we were going to [the city of] Pune... When we heard the noise my father said we should leave... But one of the bullets hit my right leg and I do not remember what happened after that," Devika said.

Mumbai gunman, identified as Mohammed Ajmal Amir Qasab
Waging war on India
Conspiracy to murder
Destabilising the government
Smuggling and possessing illegal arms and explosives

She went on to identify Mr Qasab as the gunman she saw on the platform.

When defence lawyer Abbas Kazmi tried to cross-examine her she said: "I am not lying as I have sworn on God. If one lies on oath you commit a sin."

The defendant kept looking down through the proceedings.

Earlier, Devika's father, 45-year-old businessman Natwarlal Rotawan, had demanded that Mr Qasab be hanged.

"He is the one because of whom my daughter might never have a good future. Hang him, kill him," said a visibly anguished father, pointing at Mr Qasab as he looked down.

The defendant looked grave as the eye witnesses narrated their experiences at the station.

Mr Rotawan said that the two attackers with machine guns were firing indiscriminately at passengers waiting for a train to Pune.

He described fleeing the terminus at speed with his daughter and his son Jayesh after she sustained bullet injuries to her right leg and fell unconscious.

When he was asked to identify Mr Qasab, Mr Rotawan started yelling and had to be calmed.

He said his daughter was still not able to walk and was in constant pain.

"Her future is affected forever now. It is all because of him. Hang him!" he said.

Print Sponsor

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific