Miscreants set ablaze a public library that had a collection of 11,000 books, including 3,000 copies of Bhagavad Gita in Mysuru on Friday.
The library was run by Syed Isaaq, a 62-year-old daily wage labourer. With free access to everyone, Isaaq became a popular face among Rajiv Nagar and Shanti Nagar's residents after setting up the library. For the last ten years, the library was an easy source of information for the locals.
"At 4 am, a man residing next to the library informed me that there was a fire inside. When I rushed to the library, I could only see them being reduced to ashes," a teary-eyed Isaaq told The New Indian Express.
Coming from an underprivileged background Isaaq was deprived of education. He worked as a bonded labourer before taking up the job of an Under Ground Drainage (UGD) cleaner.
Isaaq had set up the library with an objective to help inculcate reading habits among the people and also encourage them to learn Kannada.
The public library was set up in a shed-like structure inside a corporation park in Rajiv Nagar second stage near Ammar Masjid.
Over 100-150 people would visit his library every day. For running the library, Issaq would purchase over 17 newspapers, including the ones in Kannada, English, Urdu and Tamil.
Nearly 85% of the books in his library collection were in Kannada, while several were English and Urdu.
He informed that the library had over 3,000 exquisite collections of Bhagavad Gita and over 1,000 copies of the Quran and Bible, besides thousands of books of various genres, which he had sourced from donors.
After this incident, Isaaq approached the Udayagiri police station and lodged a complaint against the miscreants. Police have filed an FIR under the IPC section 436 and have launched an investigation.