Anguish over killing of innocents in the name of religion

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah meeting victim Ahmed Bashir’s family in Mangaluru on Sunday.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah meeting victim Ahmed Bashir’s family in Mangaluru on Sunday.  

Bashir had once saved a Hindu friend from a radical group in Saudi Arabia

Friends of 47-year-old Ahmed Bashir from across the communities prayed for his survival. Hearing the news of his death on Sunday morning, people came in large numbers to take part in the last rites held in Kuloor here.

Prayers were held in temples, churches and mosques after the brutal assault on Bashir on January 3 following Deepak Rao’s murder in Katipalla. He had returned to Mangaluru to start a fast food outlet about a year ago after working abroad. Bashir, with four sons, had to start the eatery to repay a housing loan.

Among the many saddened with his death was his friend Prabhakar, a resident of Akash Bhavan, who worked with him in Dubai. Prabhakar told reporters that it was because of Bashir he was saved from an attack by a radical group in Saudi Arabia who were agitated over communal incidents in Mangaluru in 1993. The two, along with their family members, continued to share a good bonding and live as neighbours, he said.

A saddened Bashir’s cousin brother Hakeem said his brother had good relationship with people from across communities. Despite limited resources, Bashir did his best to serve people in need. Friends and well-wishers had paid a visit to his house and also prayed for his survival in temples, churches and mosques, he said.

At the hospital, Hakeem appealed for peace, urging all not to resort to violence in the name of religion. “We have lost a beloved family member; no one should suffer like this,” he told people who had gathered there.

The brutal killing of Bashir and Deepak Rao has sparked severe anguish on social media where people have decried murders of innocent people. They decried that innocent people are becoming victims of communal politics and acts of political hatred.

They cited the examples of ambulance drivers Shekhar and Rohith attending to a severely injured Bashir and shifting him to hospital and Deepak Rao’s employer Abdul Majid trying his best to thwart his murder bid as testimonials to communal harmony among the masses.

The family members of both Bashir and Rao rue that the victims might have been alive had they been abroad. While Bashir had returned to India only a year ago to settle down on his family’s insistence, Rao did not go abroad for work following his mother Prema’s appeal.

Ambulance driver Shekhar, who had shifted Bashir to hospital after the attack, had to ferry his body back on Sunday. “Had someone attended to Bashir much earlier, he could have been alive. I feel he must have lost considerable blood after the attack,” Shekhar said.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 9:26:06 PM |

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