A 38-year-old man was allegedly stabbed in a Karnataka village by a man who professed Hindutva ideology. Police have refuted the communal angle.
Waquar Hasan | TwoCircles.net
NEW DELHI – Family members of 38-year-old man Samiullah, who was stabbed in his village in Karnataka, have alleged that the incident was communal as the attacker was a right-wing Hindu and there was no personal enmity between the accused and the victim.
Samiullah, who is the president of the committee managing a mosque in the Chitradurga district of Karnataka, was allegedly stabbed by a man named Nutan Gowda on July 2 when the former was coming home after performing evening (Maghrib) prayers at a local mosque.
The Instagram profile of the accused Hindu youth Gowda shows that he believed in Hindutva ideology. “Jai Shri Ram, Fan of Chatrapati Shivaji, Fight for Hindutva,” his bio says.
Samilullah’s brother Qasim told TwoCircles.net that“he (Samiullah) was attacked from behind while he was talking to someone.”
“The assailant stabbed him several times from the back and front,” Qasim said.
Samiullah is undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Chitradurga. “He received a lot of stitches in different parts of the body. His fingers do not work as his veins were cut off. He has an injury near his eyes as well. He has to undergo surgery,” said Qasim.
Qasim said his brother had no enmity with the accused and suspected a communal angle behind the attack.
“Our father-grandfather has been living in this village for decades but there has always been a good atmosphere here. Communal feelings have developed during the last 2-3 years. There is hatred against Muslims,” he said.
According to him, Muslims in the village are living peacefully in the area, and are in economically good condition. “The progress of the community has created envy among some people in the village,” Qasim said.
He said this is the first incident of hate crime in the village.
“The atmosphere of the village has been harmonious. Now, some youth have joined the Hindutva groups like Bajrang Dal and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) which has threatened the harmonious atmosphere of the village,” he claimed.
Some suspect that the incident took place to avenge the killing of Hindu tailor Kanhaiah Lal in Rajasthan’s Udaipur.
Balekayi Srinivas, President of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) has alleged the role of BJP and Hindu organizations in the stabbing case, as per a report in Mirror Now. He has alleged that the accused Hindu youth participated in Maha Ganapathy Utsav and was an activist of the Bajrang Dal. “The attempt to murder has been made with an intent to spread communal hatred,” Mirror Now quoted Srinivas as saying.
The local police, however, have denied any communal angle behind the incident. Talking to the media, Superintendent of Police K. Parashuram said that the investigations have not indicated any communal angle in the incident.
A police official at Aluru police station told TwoCircles.net that they have registered an FIR against the accused under the charges of attempt to murder (307) and arrested him.
The official denied that there is a communal angle behind the incident and that the accused is associated with any Hindutva group.
“The accused stabbed him because the victim asked him why he was staring at him,” said the official.
The official said that the “accused is an orphan and does not stay in any one place.”
“He sometimes lives in Bangalore, sometimes in another place. He earns and eats at different places,” the official added.
Victim is well known in his village
Samiullah is an influential figure in the village, his brother Qasim said.
“He used to help people. People used to call him to give speeches. He was president of the mosque committee for ten years. He is married and has three small children. However, no political or Muslim leader has so far come forward to help him. One Dalit panchayat member Srinivasan helped him throughout the situation,” he said.
The family claims that they have not received the copy of the FIR as they are currently busy with the victim’s treatment.
The attack on Samiullah has been reported at a time when the state has witnessed communal attacks and hate speeches.
Last week, a group of prominent people from Karnataka wrote to Karnataka chief minister Basavarj Bommai to stop communal incidents in the state.
“We believe the restoration of communal harmony is an important and urgent task and trust that the government you head will not wish to go down in history as the one that precipitated a steep downturn in the reputation and fortunes of our state through inaction,” reads the letter signed by the group of 75 citizens, including former IAS officers T R Raghunandan, P R Dasgupta and N T Abroo, former IPS officers Ajay Kumar Singh and F T R Colaco.
Waquar Hasan is a journalist based in Delhi. He covrs human rights abuses and hate crimes. He tweets at @WaqarHasan1231