Miscreants torch library with religious texts

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Mysuru, Apr 10 (PTI): Miscreants allegedly set fire and reduced to ashes a library here housing over 11,000 books, particularly a large collection of Bhagwad Gita, Quran and Bible besides Kannada books, police said on Saturday.

The incident occurred in the wee hours of Friday.

The library owner blamed some miscreants in his neighbourhood for the incident. They had been threatening him for running the library, he said.

'The person residing next to the library rushed to my house at about 3.50 am on Friday and told me that my library has completely been burned down,' Ishaq told PTI.

The 62-year-old owner, also working as a sanitary worker, said he was passionate about books ever since he ran away from home.

'I went to school for only 15 days and ran away from home. I had the opportunity to work as a domestic help in some houses where I developed a taste for books,' Ishaq said.

Later, he set up the library in a shanty to encourage everyone, especially children, to cultivate reading habits.

While most of the books in his library were donated by several people, he used to stock many newspapers which he bought everyday with his own money.

An ardent Kannada lover, Ishaq alleged there were some anti-Kannada people in his neighbourhood who did not like him promoting Kannada.

'On many occasions, they threatened me of dire consequences but I did not pay heed to them. Finally, they executed their plan,' he said.

Though police maintained that the mishap could be due to short circuit, Ishaq said there was no electricity in his library. PTI GMS NVG NVG