Karnataka

Violence leaves truck driver in a state of shock

Abdul Gafoor Sunti was attacked twice.  

A truck driver, who was caught in the thick of violence in Uttara Kannada and had gone missing, was tracked on Tuesday badly injured. Ironically, while the communal violence left him traumatised, it was human bonding beyond religions that saved him from what could have been a worse fate.

A resident of Gadihalli on Sirsi–Banwasi Road, Abdul Gafoor Sunti is now recuperating in his village and breaks down every time someone asks him about his health. He has a fractured limb and several injuries on his body. Mr. Sunti, who was attacked twice, is yet to come out of shock. “Had it not been for two men who had come for a puja at a temple and rushed out on hearing my scream, I would be dead by now,” he recalled, speaking to presspersons.

Mr. Sunti had gone to get sand from Mugva near Honnavar to Sirsi on December 8. Considering the communal tension in Honnavar, he decided to take a longer route via Gerusoppa instead of the regular route. Three other youths who were accompanying him shifted to another car, which was also heading to Sirsi, after they reached Gerusoppa.

As they reached Khavra Cross, a mob waylaid the car and the truck. While three youths escaped, the mob caught hold of Mr. Sunti. The mob allegedly pulled him out of the truck, snatched his cellphone and cash, and started beating him up. Mr. Sunti managed to escape and hid in an adjoining forest area.

When Mr. Sunti ventured out after it started getting dark, he was attacked by another group, this time with iron rods. He was also attacked with a knife and one of the attackers tried to cut his beard, he said. When Mr. Sunti screamed for help, two persons who had come for a puja at a nearby temple came out, forcing the attackers to flee.

Mr. Sunti managed to walk for a distance until he found a house where the housekeeper gave him water. Exhausted, Mr. Sunti took shelter in an abandoned sewage pipe. It became his shelter for the next three days. “Taking pity on my brother, the house owner gave him water and biscuits,” Mr. Sunti’s brother Abdul Wahab told The Hindu.

It was on Tuesday morning that Mr. Sunti found an elderly couple who helped him to call the lorry owner for whom he worked. On being alerted, the police tracked Mr. Sunti and got him admitted to government hospital in Honnavar.

The family members are yet to come to terms with the shocking incident, but are happy that Mr. Sunti is alive.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2020 12:25:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/violence-leaves-truck-driver-in-a-state-of-shock/article21616574.ece

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