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Another Slumdog child star's home torn down

Associated Press

MUMBAI — The shanty home of another Slumdog Millionaire child star was torn down by Mumbai authorities Wednesday as they demolished part of the city's slum where she lived.

Munni Qureshi, the stepmother of 9-year-old Rubina Ali who played the film's heroine Latika in the Oscar-winning film, said her husband was beaten by police who were supervising the demolition. She said he was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

Slumdog Millionaire won eight Oscars and brought in more than $326-million (U.S.), but it has done little so far to improve the lives of the film's two impoverished child stars, Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail and Rubina.

Last week bulldozers demolished Azhar's home in a similar cleanup drive. He lived in a different part of the same slum.

Rubina and Azhar were discovered on the Mumbai streets by the filmmakers. The film's adult stars, Dev Patel and Freida Pinto, have since shot to international fame. The lives of the two poor child stars — who live in the slum called Garib Nagar, or the “city of the poor” — haven't changed much.

“I'm feeling bad,” Rubina told The Associated Press. “My house had been demolished. I'm thinking about where to sleep.”

Dozens of police with bamboo batons patrolled the alley where Rubina's house is located and supervised young men wielding sledgehammers and metal rods who tore down the shanty homes.

“How can the police barge in any time without giving us notice,” Qureshi said, as she wept holding her forehead.

Neighbours poured water over her to keep her cool as she sat in the scorching summer sun with Rubina.

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