Nairobi mall attack brings back memories of 26/11 strike

Sep 25 2013, 12:01 IST
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Security helps people outside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya after gunmen threw grenades and opened fire during an attack that left multiple dead and dozens wounded. (AP) Security helps people outside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya after gunmen threw grenades and opened fire during an attack that left multiple dead and dozens wounded. (AP)
SummaryShot in the right leg, Devika, was the youngest witness in the trial of Ajmal Kasab.

As she watches television coverage of a mall attack in distant Kenya, a Class X student here recalls her brush with death during the 26/11 terror attacks in the metropolis in 2008.

"My heart goes out to the Nairobi mall attack victims. I get the same feeling I experienced five years ago, as I now watch the images flicker on the TV screen," 15-year-old Devika Rotwan said.

On the ill-fated night of November 26, 2008 Devika's father Natwarlal was waiting at the Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus with his daughter and son Akash for a train, when two terrorists opened fire at the railway station.

Shot in the right leg, Devika, who was the youngest witness in the trial of Ajmal Kasab, who was hanged late last year, had to rely on crutches for a long time.

For Devika and others in Mumbai, the Nairobi mall attack has brought back the bitter memories of the 26/11 terror attack.

"I have been watching the Nairobi attacks with my father. There is a same pattern. Here, it was the luxury hotels, there it is a mall," Devika said.

"This is like part two of the 26/11 attacks," she said.

"These people have a plan to create chaos at public places," she said.

Devika, who studies at a school in suburban Bandra, said last month she received a letter, warning her not to speak to media about the 26/11 terror attack.

"The letter said that if I open my mouth, I will be chopped off," Devika said.

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