"Slumdog" child star's Mumbai shanty home torn down
By Shilpa Jamkhandikar
MUMBAI (Reuters) - City authorities in Mumbai demolished the shanty home of a "Slumdog Millionaire" child star on Thursday, forcing his family into the streets months after the Oscar-winning film shot him to global fame.
Azharuddin Ismail, 9, played the character of Salim as a child in the film, a rags-to-riches romance about a poor Indian boy competing for love and money on a television game show.
Ismail's tarpaulin-covered home in a teeming slum was one of several shanties, illegally built along a drain, that were demolished by local authorities in Mumbai, India's financial capital and entertainment hub.
"When they came I was sleeping, they shook me awake and one policeman even threatened me," Ismail, surrounded by half-broken suitcases filled with clothes and utensils, told Reuters.
"What can I do if they have demolished my house? I will sleep out in the open."
A poster of "Slumdog Millionaire," signed by director Danny Boyle, fluttered from the only wall of Ismail's shanty still standing. Open sewers run nearby and it had no running water.
Authorities said the shanties had been demolished earlier but had sprung up again on the same spot.
"The shanties are all touching a drain that has to be cleaned before the advent of the monsoons," said U.D. Mistry, the local official in charge of the demolition drive. Continued...