The Mysuru City Police on Saturday arrested a 35-year-old man for carelessly throwing a matchstick after lighting a beedi, leading to an outbreak of fire near the library set up by 62-year-old Syed Ishaq in Rajiv Nagar.
Addressing a press conference, City Police Commissioner Chandragupta said the accused, Syed Nasir, who stayed close to the library, returned home on April 8 night in a drunken state, but left the house later in the night after a fight with his mother and brothers. He purchased beedis and a matchbox from a provision store situated behind the library.
Showing visuals captured from the CCTV camera, the Commissioner said Syed Nasir had lit a beedi around 10.15 p.m. and threw the burning matchstick on the furniture and cushions kept in the open outside a sofa repair shop adjacent to the library. Within a minute after he left the spot to return home, a small fire broke out from the old furniture that had been kept for repairs adjacent to the library, but two locals rushed to the spot and put out the fire.
However, the fire had not been put out completely as flames began to rise from the inflammable material like coir that was kept outside the sofa repair shop around 2.15 a.m. on April 9. Soon, the raging fire enveloped the books kept in the adjacent library and destroyed them. The police had arrested Syed Nasir as he was found to be responsible for causing the fire.
Mr. Ishaq had lodged a complaint with the Udayagiri police on April 9 alleging that miscreants had burnt his library of more than 11,000 books including Kannada versions of Bhagavad Gita, Bible and Quran. He had accused the miscreants of targeting his library because of their intolerance towards Kannada language that he was propagating through his library.
Fielding queries from reporters, Mr. Chandragupta said the accused had thrown the lit matchstick ‘carelessly’. But, the police is still investigating whether the act of the accused was deliberate or not.
However, police said there is no history of animosity between Syed Nasir, who is a painter by profession, and Mr. Syed Ishaq. Further investigations are underway.