– Mohammed Atherulla Shariff
Bengaluru, Dec. 3: In a dark midnight, a blind and aged bearded person standing alone near a bus stand was the softest target for the brave young hatemongers, who assaulted him and forced him to chant ‘Jai Sri Ram’ to satisfy their perverted souls.
In his complaint with town police station, the victim 62-year-old visually challenged Husain Sab of Gangavathi town in Koppal district, Karnataka said that a few bike-borne miscreants forced him to board their bikes, took him to an isolated place and assaulted him.
He charged that the miscreants, most of them youths, took away his money and tried to set his beard on fire after assaulting him on November 25 midnight. An FIR regarding this was filed on November 30 after people from the Muslim community came to know about the incident, which would have gone unnoticed otherwise.
Husain Sab, in the complaint, said that the youths, not only abused him, but also made derogatory comments against his community. “They intended to kill me. They assaulted me with a beer bottle and were trying to smash my head with a stone. Shepherds in the neighbourhood came to my rescue,” he said in the complaint.
The assailants took to their heels after the shepherds let their dogs behind them. The shepherds took Husain Sab to their hutment and served him hot tea. They dropped him safe to his place next morning.
However, police officials claimed that this was a crime to loot money. “While there are scratch marks on his back and other injury marks on his face, there are no signs of him being assaulted by a bottle. This looks more like an assault for money than communal reasons. We have not ruled out anything and investigations are on,” said Koppal Superintendent of Police Yashodha Vantagodi.
Husain Sab lives alone and makes a living by begging with the people. Gangavathi is known for paddy cultivation in the state. Of late hate crop is also on the rise there, thanks to the national phenomenon.