Karnataka Govt Gives 8,000 Books to Man Whose Library Burnt Down

A public library with a collection of 11,000 books was allegedly set on fire by miscreants in Mysuru.

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The Karnataka government, in a heart-warming move has decided to donate books from The Public Library Department to a city worker who lost his collection to a fire.

A public library with a collection of 11,000 books, including three thousand copies of Bhagavad Gita, was allegedly set on fire by miscreants in Mysuru on Friday, 9 April.

State Education Minister S Suresh Kumar announced the government’s move on Tuesday, 27 April and was quoted by The Indian Express as saying:

“The Public Library Department would provide 8,243 books to Syed Isaaq’s library, which fell prey to the mischief of the miscreants”.

A proposal has been submitted to Raja Rammohun Roy Library in Kolkata, as per the report. Kumar noted that the foundation works under the aegis of the Union Ministry of Culture and will provide adequate support to Isaaq.

What Happened?

The library was run by a 62-year-old daily wage labourer Syed Isaaq. His initiative made him popular in the city’s Rajiv Nagar and Shanti Nagar area, as he had been providing free access to all the residents in the vicinity for the last 10 years.

According to Syed, miscreants had attacked his library earlier as well. He said that he was informed about the fire in the library at 4 am by someone residing near the library. A sofa repair shed next to his library also caught fire and was burnt down.

Who Is Responsible?

An FIR under the IPC Section 436 has been filed in the matter and a probe is underway. The Mysuru City Police investigation led to the arrest of a 35-year-old man, Syed Nasir on 17 April, as per the report.

Nasir returned home inebriated, and lit a ‘beedi’. He threw the burning matchstick on the furniture and cushions of a sofa repair shop adjacent to the library, reported The Indian Express. The police ascertained the cause of the fire using CCTV visuals from the area.

'Will Not Cow Down’

Isaaq said that the incident has not deterred his spirit. “I will not cow down. I will rebuild the library from scratch,” he said.

He further said that he was deprived of education and wants to ensure that others should not face his plight. “I want people to learn, read and speak Kannada and will rebuild it again,” he added as per the report.

The library had 17 newspapers, including the ones in Kannada, English, Urdu and Tamil. It was set up to inculcate reading habits among the people and encourage them to learn Kannada. Over 100-150 people would reportedly visit the library daily.

Isaaq would spend around Rs 6,000 on the purchase of newspapers and for the maintenance of the library.

(With inputs from The Indian Express and The New Indian Express)

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