Over 11,000 books, including copies of the Bhagavad Gita, Bible and the Quran, were gutted when the library burnt down.

Syed Issaq library
news Crime Sunday, April 18, 2021 - 16:59

The Mysuru police say they have cracked the case where a library, that had over 11,000 books, including copies of the Bhagavad Gita, Bible and the Quran, was gutted in a fire. The police have established that the fire was caused by a lit matchstick that was thrown into a store located next to the library, following which the fire spread to the library. 

The police were investigating a complaint filed by the store’s owner Syed Isaaq, a 62-year-old daily wage worker, after the library was burnt down. Syed had created the library in a shed in Rajiv Nagar’s Corporation Park near the Amar Masjid. The fire occurred on the night of April 8 in the furniture repair store located adjacent to the library but the flame erupted into a massive fire in the early hours of April 9 and reduced the library to ashes. 

The police retrieved CCTV footage that showed a man discarding the lit matchstick, and based on the visuals, the police arrested 35-year-old Syed Nasir, who was allegedly inebriated when he threw the lit matchstick that he had used to light a beedi.

The CCTV visuals show that at around 10:15 pm on April 8, Syed Nasir lights a beedi with a match stick and later throws it away, without putting it out. After he leaves, a small flame is seen burning. In another footage at 2:17 am, the flame is seen getting bigger.

The police in a statement said that Syed Nasir, who was inebriated, went to smoke near a sofa repair shop located adjacent to the library. After lighting the beedi, he threw the lit matchstick away, which landed on an old cushion outside the shop, which caught fire. Syed Nasir had left the spot but returned to see the cushion on fire. Syed tried to put out the fire with the help of a bystander, Ayazuddin, by pouring sand over the flame to extinguish it. However, their attempts went in vain as the fire quickly grew and engulfed the library, the police said.

The police have arrested Syed Nasir under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 436 (Mischief by fire or explosive substance). Speaking to TNM, Inspector PK Raju of Udayagiri Police station said that the accused Syed Nasir did not know that he had caused the fire as he was under the influence of alcohol.

When the police inquired and showed him the footage to him, he accepted that it was him. The police further said that there was no personal hatred among Syed Nasir, Syed Issaq and the owner of the store adjacent to the library and it was just an accident.

Syed Nasir was arrested on Saturday and is currently under judicial custody, according to the police. The police told TNM that a detailed enquiry will be conducted.

Many on social media had lamented the burning down of the library. Syed Issaq had opened the library in January 2011, as he wanted more people in his area to read books. Speaking to TNM, Syed Isaaq had said that he had a wish of others being well-read as he was not fortunate enough during his childhood. He had added that there were many books in Kannada so that the language would grow and prosper.

Even though the library was destroyed, Syed Isaaq had said that he does not consider this the end and that he is determined to restart the library in the same spot. A crowdfund hat was started for him to help him re-establish the library raised Rs 28,98,260 before it ended on April 16.

 Also read: Library with 11,000 books burnt down in Mysuru, librarian vows to rebuild it

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