Elderly blind Muslim man assaulted, forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram” in Karnataka

Bengaluru: In yet another hate crime that unfolded in Gangavathi city of the Indian state of Karnataka, a blind Muslim man, Husain Saab, was brutally attacked by members of Hindutva groups for refusing to chant Hindu religious slogan “Jai Shri Ram.”

According to Kashmir Media Service, the incident occurred when Hussain Saab was on his way back to Gangavathi from a nearby village Hospet, past midnight on Saturday, after his usual fund collection for his daily needs, from the local masjid. After hearing an expensive price for an auto ride, Hussain Saab chose to walk. Two members of Hindutva groups on a scooter approached him. Saab considered asking for a lift but the people on the scooter yanked him aboard and abused him physically and verbally throughout the ride.

Hussain Saab was kidnapped by miscreants who took him to an isolated place in Siddikere. They assaulted him, pushed him to the ground, and dragged him by his legs which caused severe injuries to his back. One of the miscreants attempted to chop his beard using a broken glass bottle. On failing, they lit a match stick and burnt his beard. As he cried out in agony, they responded with Islamophobic slurs and comments.

“They took me… cut my beard, burnt my beard, and assaulted me. They hit me on my chest,” Saab told the media.

Saying “Allah won’t come for your rescue now”, the Hindutva goons continued to assault him until they heard dogs barking from a distance. Alarmed by the disturbance, some migrants close by, went to his rescue. On seeing people approaching, the Hindutva men fled from the place, while threatening the old man to “show up at MNM Girls College with a clean shave”.

Rescuers took Saab to their shelter, offered him water, and asked for his relatives’ details to contact. He then phoned his daughter, who sent an auto to pick him up and left the area at around 6 in the morning. His daughter chose not to file any case, to avoid getting involved in any trouble.

Upon receiving the news, from the auto driver who had picked up Hussain Sahab, the officials from the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) visited, admitted him to the hospital due to breathing difficulties from chest beatings, and attempted to file an FIR at the Gangavathi Town police station. However, the police are yet to file the FIR regarding the case.

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